• Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

    Nigerian Navy Make Remarkable Strides In The Second Month Of Its Fight Against Crude Oil Theft

    ByHybrid Communications

    Jun 15, 2022

    Since the Nigerian Navy-led Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO (OPDDB) was flagged off on 1 April 2022 with the support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), remarkable achievements have been recorded by the Navy from the first month of the exercise despite the unenvisaged extension of the operation.

    As of May 2022, the Nigerian Navy sustained the fight against crude oil theft (COT), illegal refining sites (IRS), and illegal bunkering. The Navy also clamped down heavily on the suppliers and conveyers of illegally/locally refined products.

    On 14 May 2022, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) SOROH at Yenagoa located a barge laden with about 200,000 litres of illegally refined AGO at Wabrox jetty in the Swali community of Yenagoa. It was confirmed that Wabrox company used the barge as a floating jetty while a yet-to-be-identified man stored illegally refined petroleum products in it before trucking the products.

    Accordingly, the company was sealed off, while a crane was contracted to unmoor the barge and convey it to the Naval Base jetty. Similarly, in the very early hours of 15 May 2022, NNS SOROH intercepted 5 boats laden with about 100,000 litres of illegally refined petroleum products. The boats and products were neutralized in Situ. Meanwhile, 7 suspects, 4 males and 3 females (one heavily pregnant) were arrested, being occupants of the boats. Pertinently, the pregnant female was confined to the Base Medical Centre until she and others were handed over to the Nigeria Police.

    Also, on 16 May 2022, Forward Operation Base (FOB) ESCRAVOS at Delta state raided an IRS at Madangho creek in Warri SW LGA where 7 illegal refining units, 15 storage tanks, and 4 large pits were discovered. A total of about 150,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, and about 250,000 litres of stolen crude oil were also found. Consequently, the IRS and products were handled appropriately. On the same day, NNS SOROH
    intercepted 3 x drums and 2 x 75 litre jerricans of suspected illegally refined AGO at Nembe creek. The products were also handled appropriately. On 17 May 2022, NNS DELTA at Warri intercepted 5 wooden boats around Nana creek in Warri South-West LGA of Delta state. The wooden boats were conveying about 960 x 50-litre polythene bags containing about 48,000 litres of suspected illegally refined DPK. Accordingly, the wooden boats and products were handled appropriately.

    Meanwhile, on 18 May 2022, NNS DELTA deactivated an IRS around Egwa-Okpogbene creek in Warri South-West LGA of Delta state. The site had 12 ovens, 16 metal storage tanks, and 3 large pits cumulatively laden with about 75,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO and about 80,000 litres of sludge. Further exploitation led to the deactivation of another IRS in the same area having 8 ovens, 12 metal storage tanks, and 4 dug-out pits cumulatively laden with about 120,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 100,000 litres of sludge. Additionally, the naval personnel deployed at the Naval Security Station
    (NSS) 032 located 2 wooden boats hidden around Okpogbene creek in Warri South-West LGA of Delta state. The wooden boats were laden with 200 x 30-litres of polythene bags containing about 6,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO. The same was handled appropriately. Also, FOB ESCRAVOS at DELTA State raided a previously deactivated IRS along Akantu creek in Burutu LGA. The IRS was found to have been reactivated with a total of 12 ovens, 20 storage tanks, and 3 large pits collectively laden with
    about 400,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 290,000 litres of stolen crude oil. All these products were handled appropriately.

    On 19 May 2022, NNS SOROH proceeded to Okotogbotuo creek in Akassa/Brass LGA where about 30 sacks of suspected illegally refined AGO were found, and some were destroyed in situ. Thereafter, at Okotogbotuo fishing camp, a search was conducted after some persons were seen fleeing the camp on sighting the naval patrol. A wooden boat laden with suspected illegally refined AGO in 35 sacks, and another 55 sacks of kerosene were discovered at different points within the fishing camp. These were handled accordingly. Additionally, one 9 Hp boat engine was recovered to the Base. On the same day, NNS DELTA at Warri intercepted a Toyota Camry with plate number AS 685-UGH
    conveying 40 x 30-litres polythene bags containing about 1,200 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO around the trailer park along Warri-Sapele road in Uwvie LGA. Accordingly, the vehicle and products were handled appropriately. On the same Thursday 19 May 2022, NNS LUGARD at Lokoja around Jamarta checkpoint arrested two 33,000 litres tankers with plate numbers SBA 385 XA and KNC 52 YT, conveying products suspected to be illegally refined Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO). The 2 x trucks as well as the 6 drivers and mechanics were detained in the Base while samples of the product were taken for laboratory analysis to ascertain further action.

    Relatedly, on Friday 20 May 2022, a joint team of NNS SOROH/Sector 2 Operation DELTA SAFE/16 Brigade Garrison commenced swamp buggy operations within IRS at Okarki, Elelebiri, and Otegwe communities in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State. A total of 29 refining tanks and 62 surface reservoirs with other illegal refining equipment floating on river Okarki were crushed. The same day, NNS DELTA located and destroyed an IRS around Okpedebubo creek in Warri South-West LGA of Delta state. The site had 9 metal storage tanks, 3 ovens, and one large pit collectively laden with about 112,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO, and 50,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil. Further exploitation of the area by the Base, led to the discovery of another IRS around Jones creek in Warri South-West LGA. The site had 2 ovens, 7 metal storage tanks, and one large pit all laden with about 75,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO and 50,000 litres of crude oil. In addition, 6 pumping machines, one power generator, and one roll of hose were discovered on the site. Accordingly, the site was deactivated and handled appropriately. Meanwhile, NNS PATHFINDER intercepted one wooden boat laden with an unspecified amount of suspected illegally refined AGO around Isaka junction, Taraba jetty. Also, at the Cawthorne channel, in collaboration with the NSCDC, NNS PATHFINDER intercepted another wooden boat laden with an unspecified amount of crude oil. Accordingly, the 2 wooden boats and 3 others earlier intercepted within Bakana creek including 6 suspects and several drums of petroleum products were handed over to the NSCDC Rivers State for further investigation and possible prosecution of the suspects.

    Likewise, on 21 May 2022, NNS SOROH intercepted a wooden boat heading to the high sea, conveying products suspected to be illegally refined crude oil. Consequently, the boat and its 3 occupants were arrested. Also, an IRS site located behind the Okubotuwo fishing camp axis was discovered to have 3 refining units, one large pit containing about 40,000 litres of illegally sourced crude oil, and 50 sacks of AGO. In a related development, FOB BONNY at Bonny Island discovered several illegal refining sites at Orutoro, behind Peterside community. There were 6 storage tanks and 3 massive pits filled with
    about 700,000 litres of AGO, and 800,000 litres of crude oil. All of which were handled appropriately.

    In continuation of OPPPB, on 22 May 2022, NNS PATHFINDER maintained a presence at the market square in the Cawthorne channel. Subsequently, 14 refining pots, 12 reservoirs, and 11 storage tanks were discovered off the channel and destroyed. Additionally, the Base intercepted 2 wooden boats at Namasibi. The boats were laden with products suspected to be stolen crude and the same were handled appropriately. The same day, FOB BONNY discovered several pit reservoirs interconnected with a network of hoses at an IRS at Ogbunku creek. Also, 3 massive pits filled with a huge quantity of stolen crude were discovered. Additionally, the Base sighted a large wooden boat with 50 drums of locally refined AGO within the area. All the boats and IRS-related facilities sighted were handled appropriately. Relatedly, NNS SOROH discovered an assembly point and 4 stores filled with 7000 litres of PMS, 25000 litres of AGO stored in drums, and 10000 litres of AGO stored in sacks. The products were destroyed in situ.

    Furthermore, on 23 May 2022, NNS DELTA at Warri, located and deactivated an IRS around Opuday-popor creek in Gbaramatu Kingdom of Warri South-West LGA. The site had 8 ovens, 12 metal storage tanks, and 4 large pits collectively filled with about 60,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO, and about 100,000 litres of stolen crude oil. Further exploitation of the general area led to the discovery of another IRS around Opumami-asisa creek in Ogbe-Ijaw within the same LGA of Delta state. The site had 4 ovens, 7 metal storage tanks, and 3 large pits all containing about 80,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 150,000 litres of stolen crude oil. Accordingly, the site was handled appropriately. Items recovered include 2 surface pumping machines, 8 metal sheets, 6 metal pipes, and 4 iron rods. Similarly, NNS PATHFINDER destroyed 16 refining
    pots, 8 reservoirs, and 16 storage tanks. On 24 May 2022, FOB BONNY discovered several IRS at Iwokiri and Akulakiri behind Peterside community in the Bonny general area. The sites had interconnecting hoses which aided the discovery of the major points with 2 storage
    tanks, 4 drums, and a storage pit filled with an unspecified quantity of AGO. All these were handled appropriately.
    Similarly, on 25 May 2022, FOB ESCRAVOS in Delta State visited a previously deactivated IRS along Banga/Madangho creek in Warri South-West LGA. Though the IRS was found inactive, some ovens were found to be at different stages of reconstruction. Also, 13 large pits were discovered to be filled with about 400,000 litres of stolen crude oil indicating the likelihood of imminent reactivation. All the products were handled appropriately. Also, the Base recovered 2 pumping machines. In the same vein, NNS DELTA intercepted a wooden boat hidden around Akpalakpa creek at Abigbodo community in Warri North LGA. The boat was laden with about 60,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil. Accordingly, the boat and product were destroyed in situ. Furthermore, the Base discovered another wooden boat laden with about 80,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil along the same Akpalakpa creek. The wooden boat with its content was likewise destroyed. Upon further exploitation of the area, an IRS around Bikoko creek in Warri North LGA was discovered to have one large pit and 2 metal surface tanks filled with about 60,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil and 60,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO. Accordingly, the site was deactivated. Again, the Base discovered another IRS around Gboshedua creek in Warri North LGA. The site had one large pit, 2 metal surface tanks, and 200 x 25 litres polythene bags all collectively filled with
    about 40,000 litres of stolen crude oil, and 20,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. The site and products were destroyed. Furthermore, NNS DELTA discovered a large quantity of suspected stolen crude oil estimated to be about 80,000 litres stockpiled in polythene bags around Keresan community in Warri North LGA of Delta state. Accordingly, the products were all destroyed.

    Also, on 26 May 2022, NNS SOROH in Bayelsa state arrested an abandoned barge laden with suspected illegally sourced crude oil around Santa Barbara area close to a wellhead. The barge was towed alongside Aiteo houseboat at the same location for safe keep while a tug was sourced to tow the barge to FOB FORMOSO. Likewise, NNS SOROH along Akenfa ara arrested a truck and the driver. The truck was laden with about 20,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO. Also on the same day, NNS PATHFINDER in Rivers state around Ilelama creek, off Cawthone channel intercepted one wooden boat laden with
    about 14,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO. The boat and products were destroyed in situ. In a related development, NNS LUGARD around Okumi checkpoint along Lokoja-Abuja express road arrested a truck laden with product suspected to be illegally refined AGO. Accordingly, the truck and 2 occupants were detained at the Base while the staff of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA) (defunct DPR) were invited to take the sample of the product for lab test.

    Furthermore, on 28 May 2022, NNS Delta located and deactivated an IRS around Lelemu creek in Warri South-West LGA. The site had 5 ovens
    and 11 metal storage tanks cumulatively laden with about 50,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO, and about 4,000 litres of suspected illegally refined DPK. Further exploitation of the general area, led to the discovery of 4 large wooden boats collectively laden with about 300,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil hidden at different points around Lelemu creek. The wooden boats and the product were handled appropriately, while 3 pumping machines onboard the boats were recovered to the Base. Also, FOB ESCRAVOS stormed Egwa community, a suspected collection /transit point for illegally refined AGO. The Base intercepted 2 boats laden with about 10,000 litres of AGO. The same was handled appropriately. One pumping machine and a 40 Hp outbound engine were recovered. While revisiting previously deactivated IRS at Egwa, Ovuleye, and Opobene creeks in Warri South-West LGA, it was discovered that some of the IRS were inactive and some had been reactivated with evidence of illegal refining activities. In all, the IRS had 7 active ovens and 15 receiver tanks filled with about 90,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, 50,000 litres of stolen crude oil, and 20,000 litres of DPK. The products were handled as appropriate. Additionally, 2 pumping machines were also discovered and handled as appropriate on the site.

    Meanwhile, on 29 May 2022, FOB ESCRAVOS again sighted 3 wooden (‘Cotonou’) boats around Escravos break waters, within Ugborodo sea shores in Warri southwest LGA. The boats were found to be void of product but with other equipment. Consequently, one 130hp, 3 x 115hp, one 85hp, and one 75hp outboard engines
    including 5 pumping machines and 2 bundles of 3-inch and one bundle of 2-inch hoses were all recovered for the boat after which they were handled as appropriate.

    On 30 May 2022, NNS PATHFINDER around Cawthorne channel intercepted one wooden boat laden with an unspecified quantity of AGO and the 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, 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
    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. On the 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, sacks containing about 30,000 litres of suspected illegally refined kerosene, with 2 large pits under construction were found at the site. The 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 the Cawthorne channel, which was 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 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

    Sludge = 180,000ltrs

    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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