Defence & Security

Navy recovers N6.3bn oil products, arrests 28 oil theft suspects

By Paul Michael, Abuja

The Nigerian Navy through its newly established Operation Dakatar Da Barawo (OPDDB) has recorded remarkable successes in the fight against oil theft in the Niger Delta area of the country, as the value of products recovered in May totalled about N6.3 billion.

This was disclosed in an achievement report on Wednesday by the Navy for the month of May 2022.

Recalled that the OPDDB was flagged off on 1 April 2022 with the support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited. Since the flag off, the Nigerian Navy has recorded tremendous achievements in the fight against Crude Oil Theft (COT), Illegal Refining Sites (IRS) and illegal bunkering.

According to the report in May, 5,675,000 litres of Crude Oil, I32,625 litres of DPK, 6,042,187 litres of AGO. 180,000 litres of PMS, 66,000 litres of LPFO, and 180,000 litres of Sludge were recovered. The total value of the products was said to be N6,343,678,472.5.

More so, a total of 28 persons were said to have been arrested during the period and 23 of the suspects were handed over to the appropriate agencies for further investigations and trial.

The report further added that among those arrested was a heavily pregnant woman, who was confined to the Base Medical Centre until she and others were handed over to the Nigeria Police.

Also, 66 Wooden boats, one Market Boat, 6 Speed Boats, 6 Trucks, One Ford Model Bus, 3 Tankers and a Toyota Camry 36 IRS, 232 Ovens, 308 Storage Tanks, and 104 Dugout Pits were recovered and destroyed by the Navy.

A part of the report reads, “On 30 May 2022, NNS PATHFINDER around Cawthorne channel intercepted one wooden boat laden with an unspecified quantity of AGO and same was handled appropriately. Also, NNS DELTA personnel deployed to the Naval Security Station (NSS) 032 intercepted and destroyed 5 wooden boats laden with polythene bags containing about 30,000 litres of suspected illegally refined DPK around Nana creek.

“The base also located and deactivated an identified IRS around Ekpemu axis of Jones creek in Warri South-West LGA. The site had 12 ovens and 25 metal storage tanks cumulatively ladened with about 100,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and about 50,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO. Items recovered include 6 pumping machines and one 6000 watts generator. On further exploitation of the general area, the Base located one large wooden boat ladened with about 40,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil positioned at an adjoining creek to Jones creek. The wooden boat and the product were handled appropriately.

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“Same day, NNS SOROH at Bayelsa state around Pirigbene creek in Southern Ijaw LGA located an IRS where 2 large wooden boats containing about 10,000 litres of suspected illegally sourced crude oil and a fibre canoe were found. The IRS also had 2 illegal refining units (ovens) and 3 large pits cumulatively ladened with about 150,000 litres of suspected illegally sourced crude oil and 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. Additionally, 4 metal storage tanks and sacks containing about 30,000 litres of suspected illegally refined kerosene with 2 large pits under construction were found at the site. Same was deactivated accordingly.

“The Base recovered 2 pumping machines, one Skyrun deep freezer, one Sumec fireman generator, one 40hp and 8hp engine, one roll of trampoline, and 2 rolls of hoses. Meanwhile, NNS VICTORY at Calabar handed over 252 bags of arrested foreign rice and 24 drums of suspected illegally obtained PMS to the Nigeria Customs Service and NSCDC in the presence of the press in Calabar. The items had been arrested by the Base during routine patrol during OPDDB.

“Finally, on 31 May 2022, NNS PATHFINDER arrested one wooden boat laden with an unspecified amount of suspected illegally refined AGO along Cawthorne channel. Same to be handled appropriately. Meanwhile, FOB ESCRAVOS at Delta State visited a previously deactivated IRS along Jones creek in Warri South-West LGA. The IRS was discovered to be inactive.

“Further exploitation of the area led to the discovery of a new IRS which had 3 ovens, 6 metal storage tanks, 2 surface pits, one wide pit and several metal drums all approximated to contain about 75,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 100,000 litres of stolen crude oil. The products were handled as appropriate. The Base recovered 3 pumping machines, a 7.5kw (18hp) generator, one filing machine and one welding machine.”

“The Summary of data and achievements of OPDDB for the month of May 2022 is as follows: CRUDE OIL – 5, 675, 000 ltrs (35,691.823 bbls @ $105/bbl) = $3,747,641.415 (N 1,873,820,707.5); DPK – 132625 ltrs @ N 565/ltr = N 74,933,125; AGO – 6,042,187 ltrs @ N 720/ltr = N 4,350,374,640; PMS – 180,000 @N 165/ltr = N 29,700,000; LPFO = 66,000 ltrs @N 225/ltr = N 14,850,000 and Sludge = 180,000 ltrs.

”Total value of products denied oil thieves = Six Billion Three Hundred and Forty-Three Million Six Hundred and Seventy-Eight Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy-Two Naira Five Kobo only N6,343,678,472.5, ARRESTS – 28 persons, SUSPECTS HANDED OVER – 23, Wooden boats – 66, MARKET BOATS – 1, SPEED BOATS – 6, Vehicles – 6 Trucks, One Ford Model Bus, 3 Tankers and a Toyota Camry, IRS – 36, OVEN – 232, STORAGE TANKS – 308, DUGOUT PITS – 104.”

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