Nigerian Navy Destroys 347 Illegal Refineries In Niger Delta

The Nigerian Navy has said that it has destroyed more than 346 illegal refineries in the southern part of the country in the last five months.

It stated that illegal refineries had made it possible for crude oil theft to have access crude products through vandalism of pipelines as the illegal refineries can not survive without the oil thefts.

The Director of Information at the Naval Headquarters, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, emphasized that all hands must be on deck to change the narrative in oil sector.

He added that host communities, traditional rulers as well as other leaders in Niger Delta will contribute their quota towards reorienting of the young people in the area.

Ayo-Vaughan lamented that the activities of the oil theft posed a serious danger to the environment, and was impacting negatively on the nation’s economy.

With about 400,000 barrels of crude oil said to be stolen daily, the rate of oil theft in the country has been described by many persons and organisations as economic sabotage, given the way it erodes the country’s revenue from crude oil export, the mainstay of the country’s economy.

Owing to the menace, Nigeria has been unable to meet its quota as allocated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

While OPEC increased the country’s crude oil output quota from 1.799 million barrels per day in July 2022 to 1.826 million barrels per day in August from a peak of 2.4 million bpd previously, the country’s oil production dropped from 1,083,899 bpd in July to 972,394 bpd in August.

“Since Operation Dakatar de Barawo commenced on April 1, 2022, the illegal refining sites that we have destroyed so far are 347, and we have arrested 143 suspects till date.

“The perpetrators are usually locals recruited by the main perpetrators in the crime and the proliferation of the illegal refining sites is in many ways fuelling the theft because it’s like a symbiotic relationship.

“Access to oil supply through pipeline vandalism keeps the illegal artisanal refineries alive.

“Yes, we have the challenge of crude oil theft, but there has been a lot of wrong information in the media, particularly in the electronic media. I think the narrative has changed from 400,000 barrels to 100,000 barrels.

“Recently, the Managing Director of Agip Oil Company and the MD of Total met separately with the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, at the naval headquarters to interact with him,” he said.

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