Highlight

Army uncovers 14 illegal reservoirs with 3m litres of stolen crude oil in Rivers

The discovery is coming barely four days after the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) uncovered 83 illegal refineries and 15 illegal pipeline connections in the Niger Delta in one week.

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The headquarters of the 6 Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, says it has uncovered 14 crude oil reservoirs containing about three million litres of stolen crude in Odagwa Etche in the Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

According to the Army, the reservoir had 49 boilers used in refining stolen crude in the area.

The discovery is coming barely four days after the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) uncovered 83 illegal refineries and 15 illegal pipeline connections in the Niger Delta in one week.

The General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, Maj.-Gen. Jamal Abdussalam, while taking journalists on a tour round the reservoirs, located in the thick forest of Odagwa Etche, said they made the discoveries through credible intelligence officers of the division.

He said: “You can see that this place is in a deep forest even if you are using helicopters and military drones, you will not be able to see what we actually saw here on the ground. Credible intelligence led us to this location.

“We have discovered so many illegal activities. As you can see, we have seen reservoirs that can contain upwards of 200,000 litres of crude oil.

“We have discovered about 14 of them in this bush. 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 hoses and cables connected around the whole area.

“The crude oil we have discovered in this place is in excess of the daily crude oil export of Nigeria. This is very pathetic and very sad to note.

“Here we discovered 14 reservoirs and each reservoir stored a minimum of200,000 litres of crude oil. So, simple math will give you in excess of three million litres of crude oil that is stored.

“We are not talking about the ones that have been processed and taken out; these are the ones that we have discovered.”

He revealed that a few arrests had been made, adding that “however, those that we have arrested are not the major players in this business; they are just carriers of the stolen oil.”

Gen. Abdussalam said the Army would continue to hunt oil thieves so that the country can meet the budget production benchmark.

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