The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) yesterday said it had destroyed a barge carrying illegal crude oil as well as a filling station that has been receiving stolen crude oil.
In a joint raid was carried out in collaboration with security agencies as well as local firms recently contracted by the federal government for pipeline surveillance jobs.
In August 2022, the NNPC signed a deal with Tantita Security Services and two other companies in its efforts to stop the theft of the country’s crude oil.
Both the Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, estimate the volume of stolen crude and production foregone as a result of shutdowns at over 700,000 barrels per day.
Over 58 illegal connections to the trans-Escravos, trans-Forcados, and other major trunk lines by oil thieves in Delta and Bayelsa states have been discovered since the joint collaboration took effect.
“In ongoing efforts to stem oil theft and restore Nigeria’s production to optimum levels, private security contractor, in collaboration with government security agencies and NNPC Limited on 31/12/22 destroyed a barge loaded with stolen crude. The barge was arrested on 22/12/22. Suspects were also arrested.
“The barge, named MT Brighton 1, which was loaded with stolen crude, was apprehended in one of the creeks running into the Ramos River in Agge Community, a border village between Delta and Bayelsa states.
“Also, the security intervention team on 31/12/22 demolished a filling station, named Blessed Corporate Oil & Gas Services Limited in Opete, Warri, Delta State, for being in custody of a truck laden with stolen crude and discharging the illegal contents into its underground storage tanks,” the brief message stated.
The NNPC as well as the security agencies have variously been criticised for destroying evidence which would have been deployed in prosecuting suspects in courts.
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