EFCC Grills 58 Suspected Oil Thieves In Port Harcourt

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital has commenced an investigation of 58 persons allegedly involved in illegal oil bunkering.

They include one Mexican, one Ukranian and 56 Nigerians.

According to a statement by the commission, the suspects, as well as four vessels, one barge and two wooden boats, were handed over to the EFCC by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder.

Read Also: [FBI LIST] EFCC Nabs Major Suspect, Five Others In Sokoto

The vessels, MV Western Orient; MV Temile, AHT Ajemisan and AHT Jascon 23, and the two boats were intercepted around Onne Anchorage, while Barge Hannamarine was intercepted at Okorochiri Creek in Okrika.

NNPC To Set Up Bunkering Company

NNPC To Recover Missing Petrol Worth Over 130m Litres

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has unveiled plans to set up a subsidiary to provide refuelling services to ships and other ocean-going vessels.

The Group General Manager, NNPC Shipping, Mrs Aisha Katagum, announced this in an interview published in the August edition of NNPC News.

A statement from the NNPC explained that the plan was part of efforts to consolidate the agency’s foothold on the shipping business in the country and boost profitability.

“Actually, the NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD) is also very keen on that. He has directed the Corporate Planning and Strategy (CP&S) Division to come up with a business model for us to see how it could operate,” Mrs Katagum was quoted in the statement.

According to her, the bunkering subsidiary is most likely going to be an incorporated company like Nidas, a subsidiary under NNPC Shipping.

She revealed that the proposed company would also likely be domiciled in the NNPC Shipping Division too.

On the prospect of the company, Katagum said: “I’m sure it’s going to be a big business because we have so many vessels that come into the West African Coast. This year alone, over 120 vessels have brought imports for us.”

Nikorma and Marine Logistics are two other downstream subsidiaries under the NNPC Shipping Division.

Nikorma engages in shipping and transportation of energy products.

Marine Logistics, on the other hand, provides services to the crude and petroleum products as well as the gas sub-sector, with a mandate to effect demurrage reduction and ensure efficient coastal distribution of petroleum products.

Two Soldiers Injured As Troops Raid Oil Bunkering Site In Rivers

Troops of the Nigerian Army have successfully cleared a notorious oil bunkering site in Rivers State, with two soldiers sustaining gunshot wounds in the process.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, said the incident occurred on Monday.

According to him, troops of the 29 Battalion Tactical Headquarters, Bille, Rivers State encountered armed illegal bunkerers at Feropkakama Camp, a notorious bunkering site, and the bunkerers on sighting them opened fire.

“However, the gallant troops repelled the attack and pursued the scampering criminals deep into the creeks with many of them sustaining gunshot wounds,” the statement read in part.

“Unfortunately, two brave soldiers were wounded in action, one of them critically but both are responding positively to treatment at a military facility in Port Harcourt.”

On Tuesday, troops conducted a follow-up operation to the camp and “discovered 14 Pump Action cartridges, four empty AK 47 magazines, eight pumping machines and several other illegal bunkering tools”.

The Army has launched a massive manhunt in collaboration with other security agencies to for the fleeing criminals in order to bring them to justice, the statement added.

The raid on illegal bunkerers in the region is part of the 6 Division Nigerian Army’s intensified operations to rid the area of criminal elements, two months after the division’s operationalisation.

As part of the intensified operation, on Monday, troops of 6 Division Garrison, Port Harcourt on routine Anti-Bunkering patrol to Elechi and Abonnema Wharf discovered and destroyed several quantities of suspected illegally refined Automated Gas Oil, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, the statement also said that troops of 3 Battalion (Rear), Warri has continued to “dominate their AOR with the conduct of Stop and Search Operations with a view to maintaining the fragile peace that exists in the area and to identify, detect and intercept criminals, arms and ammunition within the area”.

“This proactive measure has significantly reduced attacks on innocent communities particularly along Ogbe-Ijoh and Aladja boundary, Isaba community, Mofor, Okwuokwuoko, Warri/Sapele and other notable hot spots around Warri metropolis,” it said.

Naval Chief Urges Oil Companies To Help In Fight Against Oil Theft

Crude-oil-theftThe Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jubrin, has tasked international oil companies to support the efforts of the Nigerian Navy in the fight against oil theft, vandalism and bunkering.

Speaking during a meeting with international oil giants in Abuja, the Naval Chief accused oil majors as being accessories to oil theft as some of them have deliberately left their oil well heads open for years .

He warned that henceforth the navy will begin to arrest any oil major who deliberately contributes to the stealing of Nigerian oil.

This warning is coming on the heels of a plea by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) seeking the assistance of the Nigerian Navy in its fight against oil theft and other crimes on Nigerian water ways.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Joseph Dawha, on Tuesday said the security of personnel in the petroleum industry has become one major challenge requiring continuous engagement and collaboration with security agencies.

He said this will have a positive impact on the socio-economic growth of the nation.

Rear Admiral Jubrin, who shared in the frustration of the NNPC, however noted that the efforts of the navy are beginning to yield the desired result to rid the nations water ways of pirates.

The Naval Chief asked the NNPC to play its role as stipulated in the constitution whenever the navy successfully foils criminal operations on the water ways. Both agencies agreed that collaboration is a key strategy to protecting the country’s oil wealth from criminals.

It is estimated that Nigeria is losing between 60 to 80 thousand barrels of crude daily to oil theft and vandalism.

Determination, The Driving Force To Curbing Oil Theft In Nigeria

The secretary of Delta state government (SSG), Mr. Ovuozorie Macauley, on wednesday said that determination is the key factor in handling crude oil theft in Nigeria. 

He added that the issue of oil theft goes back to the 70s and bunkering has turned out to become an epidemic in the country.

Speaking on Channels television’s breakfast programme, Mr. Macauley said “there are different types of oil bunkers, we have the locals who steal from abandoned oil wells and sell within the country, the foreign bunkers who pump oil from a particular point through the SPDC pipelines into the Cotonu boat and take it to the baby vessel and then transfer the oil worth about 33,000 tonnes to the mother vessel that waits in the high sea”.

“This is where foreigners come in, conniving with security agencies that have been put in place to stop this criminal act”. He added

Mr. Macauley said that these security agencies are not well equipped to catch this thieves because they do not have the weapons needed, using the navy as an example, he said that the naval air crafts on ground do not have the ‘endurance’ to make trips round the water.

Politicians involved in bunkering have not been persecuted neither has government been able to punish this oil thieves, he said their punishment should serve as an example to others.

He however mentioned that the Delta state government is assisting security agencies like JTF through repair of boats and vehicles.

Shell Threatens Operation Shut Down Due To Increasing Oil Theft

Nigeria’s joint venture partner in the production of crude, Shell Production and Development Company (SDPC) has threatened to shut down its Nember creek trunk line owing to the increased cases of oil theft.

According to the country chairman of SPDC; Mr Mutiu Sumonu, the volume being stolen is in the excess of over 60,000 barrels per day, forcing the company to often shut down daily operation.

Apart from the economic loss to the country, the level of environmental devastation is also raising to a worrisome height.

Between 22nd and 25th February 2013, the company says 12 flow stations  producing into the NCTL was shut down three times due to oil theft and consequently resulting in the deferment of 150,000bpd .

The illegal activity of these oil thieves which is without regards for the impact of their criminal activity on the people have caused what can be referred to as an environmental tragedy for the inhabitants of these regions and their generations to come.

Krakama and Awoba communities have the highest cases of oil theft and illegal refineries.

FG to create task force on crude oil theft

The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin, on Friday said that the Federal Government has approved the constitution of a task force to curb crude oil theft in Nigeria.

The Air Marshall disclosed this while addressing journalists during a stakeholders’ meeting on security in the oil and gas industry in Lagos.

He said that the responsibility of the task force will be to halt the incessant oil theft in the country and that most senior army personnel and other security agencies would be included in the team to bring sanity.

“I quite agree with the collective decision of the stakeholders on ways to address oil theft in the country.

“All the security agencies will ensure adequate monitoring of the country’s oil thefts to logical conclusion,” Petinrin said.

Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, said that over 180 million barrels of crude oil were lost on daily basis in the country.

Translating the 180 million barrels into monetary terms the Managing Director of Shell, Mutiu Sunmonu had on Thursday during a meeting with the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Zainab Ahmed in Abuja said Nigeria loses $5billion yearly to crude oil theft.

Mrs Allison-Madueke said the new task force would include both indigenous and international oil chiefs.

The minister said that it had been observed that in the last six months, the number of oil theft on Nigerian water was high.

“This crude oil theft affects both our environment and economic values in Nigeria,’’ she said.