• Recover 569,400 litres of stolen crude; 486,000 AGO; 59,500 PMS.
A Joint Task Force of the Operation Delta Safe operating in the Niger Delta region has destroyed several illegal refining sites in the Niger Delta region, the hub of the Nation’s crude oil production.
The troops also arrested no fewer than 16 suspected oil thieves while sustaining efforts against the activities of crude oil theft in the region.
Nigeria’s crude oil production capacity has been declining in the last 7 months. In January 2023, the country produced an average of 1.47 million barrels per day (bpd), but this declined to 998,602 bpd in April 2023, the lowest in seven months.
In May 2023, production increased to 1.18 million bpd, but it fell again to 1.25 million bpd in June 2023 and 1.08 million bpd in July 2023.
Nigeria has remained a major victim of crude oil theft, with an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 bpd of crude oil or even more stolen each year.
Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, in a press conference with news men on Thursday at the Defence Headquarters New Conference Room, said the troops destroyed several illegal refining sites, recovered stolen products and arrested 16 suspects.
According to him, “Troops of Operation Delta Safe sustained the momentum against the activities of crude oil theft. Troops destroyed several illegal refining sites and recovered stolen products. Troops also intercepted and destroyed vehicles loaded with illegal refined products in Ughelli and Eleme LGAs of Delta and Rivers State respectively.”
While giving details of the success recorded during the operations, Gen Buba said, “Troops discovered and destroyed 71 dugout pits, 36 boats, 83 storage tanks, 5 vehicles, 4 motorcycles, 58 cooking ovens, 5 pumping machines, 3 generators, 3 speedboats and 34 illegal refining sites.
“Troops recovered 569,400 liters of stolen crude oil, 486,000 liters of illegally refined AGO and 59,500 liters of PMS. Troops also arrested 16 suspected oil theft.
“On 22 and 23 August 2023, troops intercepted vehicles loaded with illegally refined AGO in Ughelli and Eleme LGAs of Delta and Rivers States. Troops moved vehicles to safe place and subsequently destroyed.”
Meanwhile, in other operations by Joint Task Force of Operation Udo Ka in the South East region, troops were said to have foiled kidnap activities and rescued 14 hostages in Enugu East and Ohimini of Enugu and Benue State respectively.
Gen Buba said on 21 August 2023, troops conducted a fighting in Orumba South LGA of Anambra State and arrested 3 suspected criminals, and recovered one locally made pistol with 2 rounds of 9 mm ammo from the suspects.
He further noted that on 25 August 2023, following stop and search operation, troops arrested a suspected criminal at Check Point in Oji River LGA of Enugu State and recovered one loaded locally made pistol, a cartridge and a pair of canvas among other items.
The Defence Spokesman assured Nigerians that the Armed Forces remains focused on its core mission and would continually make adjustments along the way to better protect citizens, while isolating and annihilating those groups constituting a security nuisance to the country.
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