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  • Oil & Gas - News
  • Updated: July 31, 2023

Nigerian Forces Destroy Illegal Refinery In Delta State In Fight To Stop Oil Theft

Nigerian Forces Destroy Illegal Refinery In Delta State In F

Military personnel from Nigeria have destroyed a number of items that belonged to an illegal oil refinery that was running in Owahwa, Delta state.  

The refinery was destroyed, according to a report given during a Sunday night broadcast by NTA. 

The report states that the military, civil defence, and the Tompolo-led Tantita Security worked together to make the finding on Saturday, July 29.  

“Troops of the 181 Amphibious Battalion of the Nigerian Army operating in 6 Division in conjunction with operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and operatives of Tantita Security, have uncovered a major illegal oil refining site at Owahwa community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State. 

“A statement by the Director Army Public Relations Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu says a combined anti-oil theft team made the discovery on Saturday, 29 July 2023 following a surveillance report on the illicit activities of illegal oil refiners in the area. 

“Storming the illegal refining site, Troops discovered 35 modular ovens used for illegal refining of crude oil, 3 fabricated reservoirs, 30 dug-out Reservoirs, and 75 galvanized pipes.

“The Nigerian Army enjoins citizens to continue to support the ongoing anti-oil theft operations by reporting suspected illicit oil refining and bunkering activities in their areas to the security agencies.” 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited first brought the growth in crude oil theft through diverted crude supplies via illicit connections and illegal refining activities in the creeks of the Niger Delta to the nation's attention in 2022.

Meanwhile, data from the Nigerian Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) shows that in 12 years (2009 to 2020), the country lost 619.7 million barrels of crude oil to theft.  

The oil and gas industry has suffered from crude oil theft in terms of generated income and a decline in hydrocarbon investments.

Securing oil and gas assets nationwide is essential for Nigeria's economic survival because the country's present crude production rate of 1.4 million barrels per day is below the planned production rate of 1.6 million barrels per day set forth in the country's 2023 budgetary projections. 

However, the government is cracking down on crude theft through the NNPCL, using both authorised security agency and outside organisations like Tantita Security.

Between July 15 and July 21, the NNPCL especially in the Niger Delta region in the states of Rivers, Bayelsa, and Delta reported up to 240 petroleum theft instances.  

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