Oil thieves in Nigeria are not slowing down in their desperation to continue their illegal business, a report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), on Tuesday, reveals.
According to the report tagged: “War on crude oil theft in October,” the oil thieves now install Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) to monitor security operatives.
“Far from the regular, these criminals have taken their activities a notch higher. In this camp, CCTV cameras have been installed on trees by the thieves to look out for security operatives,” the NNPCL said in a statement.
The report also revealed a bunkering site in Osuobodo between two ANTAN flow stations, South of Oguta naval base in Imo State.
The NNPCL said the thieves mounted mortar launchers and defence systems in various locations to kill any perceived foes.
The NNPCL noted that the discovery was made sequel to an invasion by the military following information gathered by air surveillance carried out by Target Energy, Tantita Security Services, Operation Delta Safe and the military in August.
Oil theft has been a problem for the Nigerian government for a long time now and has continued despite Federal Government’s security efforts at stopping it.
The report reads: ”It’s a well-orchestrated mission. The thieves are determined to live here and trade their stolen crude.
“A lack of electricity is no excuse. Generators are on standby to keep the camp’s operations afloat. Drums of crude oil feeding from an illegal connection, bags used for storing crude and more were discovered in the camp.
“Between the 14th to 20th of October, 49 illegal connections were uncovered in Udu and Ogharefe in Delta State, Ohaji Egbema in Imo, Brass in Bayelsa, and in Rivers State.
“At this spot in Rivers State, oil thieves drilled a tunnel underneath the tarred road to insert their illegal connection. The aim is to operate undetected. This was planned and carried out by an expert, using a horizontal directional drilling machine.
“Sixteen cases of pipeline vandalism were recorded this week in Azuzu in Bayelsa state and Obodo Omadina & Ogidigbein in Delta state where a well head was vandalised.
“In Ozuaku in Abia state, a vandalised pipeline is being repaired.
Ten facilities used for storing stolen crude were uncovered in various locations in the Niger Delta in the past week. In Ekpemu, Delta state, an interesting discovery was made.
“Track more storage facilities were discovered in Ogborode, Ugborodo and Kwale in Delta State, Tomble and Emuoha in Rivers state and Yenagoa in Bayelsa state.
“In Ozoro, Umuosonwu and Patani in Delta state, vehicles conveying sacks of crude oil, were arrested and their content confiscated. Five vehicle arrests were made between the 14th and 20th of October. Eighteen wooden boats conveying stolen crude were also apprehended this week in Rivers, Delta and Imo states.
“Nine of these incidents took place in the deep blue water, 23 in the Western region, 67 in the Central region and 50 in Nigeria’s Eastern Region.
“For NNPC limited, there is no backing down on the war on crude oil theft, until the menace is eradicated for good.”