NNPC Uncovers 122 Illegal Oil Refineries In Niger Delta, Seals Fuel Station

NNPC Uncovers 122 Illegal Oil Refineries In Niger Delta, Seals Fuel Station

4 weeks ago
1 min read

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has discovered 122 illegal oil refining sites across the Niger Delta region in the past week.

This finding highlights the ongoing challenge of oil theft and vandalism in Nigeria.

In a documentary released on Tuesday, the NNPC detailed its recent efforts to combat these issues. The company reported uncovering and removing 65 illegal pipeline connections within a week in Rivers State and other areas in the Niger Delta. “310 incidents were recorded between May 18 and 24 across the Niger Delta region,” stated the NNPC.

One notable incident involved a filling station in Grey Creek, Akwa Ibom State, which was sealed for selling illegally refined fuel to motorists. This action is part of a broader crackdown on illegal fuel sales and distribution networks.

The 122 illegal refineries were identified in various locations, including Tomble II, III, IV, and Umuajuloke in Rivers State, as well as Oporomor III, Eduwini, and Ajatiton in Bayelsa State. In addition to the refineries, several vandalized wellheads were discovered in Tomble IV, Rivers, and Egbema in Imo State. A pit filled with crude oil from a vandalized wellhead was also found.

The NNPC’s efforts extended to uncovering five illegal storage sites where oil was stored in sacks, pits, cans, and even at a filling station. Twenty vehicles, including a tanker, were seized in Delta and Imo states. Additionally, 29 boats used for transporting crude oil or illegally refined products were confiscated across several creeks in Bayelsa and Delta states.

READ ALSO: NNPC: Oil Production Nears 1.7mbpd Amid Infrastructure Challenges

In connection with these incidents, 33 suspects have been arrested. The crackdown on illegal refineries and oil theft is a critical part of NNPC’s strategy to secure the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure.

Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, emphasized the need to address insecurity in the oil and gas sector to boost production. “How do you increase oil production? Remove the security challenge we have in our onshore assets. The security challenge is real. It is not just about theft, it is about the availability of the infrastructure to deliver the volume to the market,” Kyari said.

He pointed out that the nation’s crude oil production continues to drop due to persistent oil theft and vandalism. “No one is going to put money into oil production when he knows the production will not get to the market. Within the last two years, we removed over 5,800 illegal connections from our pipelines. We took down over 6,000 illegal refineries. You simply cannot get people to put money until you solve that problem,” he added.

The NNPC’s efforts are a step towards restoring confidence in Nigeria’s oil industry. By addressing the issues of theft and vandalism, the company aims to create a more secure and profitable environment for oil production. The recent discoveries and actions taken by the NNPC demonstrate a commitment to tackling these challenges head-on, with the hope of stabilizing and boosting the country’s oil output.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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