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How Oil Thieves Built, Operate Tank Farm, Illegal Refinery Producing More Than Nigeria’s Oil Output– Army

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But for human intelligence and not its usual reliance on drone surveillance, the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, says that it has discovered a huge illegal refinery and reservoir storing and processing stolen crude oil of an estimated 3 million liters, exceeding daily output of the product by Nigeria, owner of the product itself.

The Army explained the discovery to DDM and other journalists on Thursday.

There are estimates by reliable authorities that oil theft accounts for more 45 to 50 percent of oil outputs in Nigeria.

“The crude oil we have discovered in this place is in the excess of the daily crude oil export of Nigeria.

“We discovered so many illegal activities, as you can see. We have seen reservoirs that can contain upward of 200,000 litres of crude oil. We have discovered about 14 of them in this bush.

FILE PHOTO: One of the facilities in illegal oil refineries in the forest

 

 

“We have also discovered boilers capable of processing crude oil; about 49 of them, all located inside this bush and we have seen the network of hose and cables connected around the whole area,” explained General Commanding Officer, GOC, and Land Component Commander of the Operation Delta Safe, Major General Jamal Abdussalam.

According to the army, through active surveillance by its intelligence arm, it was able to uncover 14 reservoirs filled with an unspecified amount of crude oil in Odagwa Etche, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The army also disclosed its discovery of 49 boilers used in illegally refining stolen crude oil in the area.

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They made these revelation while also conducting journalists round the forest where the reservoirs were discovered.

Abdusalam said the feat followed actionable intelligence as the hoodlums meticulously concealed their activities, making the site invisible for helicopters or drones.

“This is very pathetic and very sad to note. Here we discovered 14 reservoirs and each reservoirs stored minimum of 200,000 litres of crude oil.

“So simple mathematics will give you in excess of 3 million litres of crude oil that is stored. We are not talking of the ones that have been processed and taken out. These are the ones that we have discovered.”

Abdusalam added that no fewer than six suspects were arrested.

 

FILE PHOTO: Journalists being conducted round the oil reservoir containing stolen crude oil

 

Explaining how carefully the oil thieves have hidden their operations, the army general added, “the idea of bringing you here is to let Nigerians know exactly what is happening.

“You can see that this place is in a deep forest. Even if you are using a helicopter and military drones, you will not be able to see what we actually saw here on the ground. We discovered this based on credible intelligence which led us to this location.

“We have also discovered boilers capable of processing crude oil; about 49 of them, all located inside this bush and we have seen the network of hose and cables connected around the whole area.

The GOC, was accompanied in the operation by the Commander, 6 Division Garrison, Brigadier-General Eddie Effiong.

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He added also that the discovery was part of efforts by the Division to ensure that the federal government gets what is due to it.

“This discovery is part of our efforts to ensure that the government gets what is due to it.

“The budget has been, passed into law and the executive have also accented to it. That budget were planned based on some parameters. One of the parameters is the crude oil production we churn out every day.

“So any drop in that crude oil production affects everybody in this country. Our people are not aware of that and that is why they are involved in this type of business.”

Major-General Abdussalam who noted that the site will be completely destroyed, vowed that the military will not relent in its efforts to curb illegal bunkering activities in the Niger Delta.

“Few arrests have been made but those arrested are not the key players in this business.

They are basically labourers, the main players have not been caught, but now that we have discovered this place, with proper intelligence and investigation, we are going to apprehend them.”

 


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