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War against oil theft: Tug boat conveying illegal diesel arrested, 115 oil thefts in one week – NNPCL

"Five people on the boat are currently being interrogated by Tantita"

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) says a tugboat conveying suspected illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel, has been apprehended by operatives of Tantita Security Services Ltd.

In its weekly documentary previewing the fight against oil theft on Tuesday, NNPCL said that a marine police boat in Rivers State was escorting the tugboat before the security outfit arrested it.

Tantita is currently questioning five people on the boat, according to Persecondnews.

Tantita, a security company with its headquarters in Warri, Nigeria, specializes in the oil and gas sector and provides security solutions tailored for these assets.

With a mandate to end the war on crude oil theft, the national oil company recorded 155 incidents of oil theft.

In one week (between March 30 and April 5, 2024), the Niger Delta revealed 53 illegal pipeline connections and 36 illegal refineries.

The documentary disclosed: “On Monday, April 1, 2024, a Tantita Security Services team on patrol pursued and arrested a tugboat – Aya Oba Olori II, which was being escorted by a marine police boat in Rivers State.

“The tugboat was laden with an unspecified quantity of suspected illegally refined AGO, which was loaded from a barge at Onne Dock on March 31. Five people onboard the tugboat were arrested by the Tantita team and are undergoing interrogation.

“Between March 30 and April 5, 2024, a total of 155 incidents were recorded across several locations in the Niger Delta region from various incident sources.”

In a summary of the incidents, NNPCL stated that it recorded 53 illegal connections, discovered 36 illegal refineries and 32 wooden fibre boats, identified 14 pipeline vandalism cases, eight vessel infractions, and four oil spills, as well as made seven vehicle and one vessel arrests.

Some of the incident sources include the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Tantita Security Services Ltd., NNPCL Command and Control Centre, Shell Petroleum Development Company, and NNPCL 18 Operating Ltd., among others.

Providing additional details, the company said, “In the past week, 32 wooden boats conveying stolen crude and illegally refined products were seized and confiscated in Rivers and Delta states.

“On land, seven vehicles loaded with stolen crude were arrested in Imo, Delta, and Rivers states. 53 illegal connections were uncovered between March 30 and April 5, 2024, in Bayelsa, Rivers, and Delta States.

“14 cases of vandalism were also recorded in Rivers, Bayelsa, and Delta states, while illegal storage sites where stolen crude and illegally refined products are kept were uncovered in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Delta states.”

The national oil company also stated there were clusters of illegal refineries in Abia State, as the activities of oil thieves had devastated the affected environments in the state.

In the past week, authorities in Rivers and Abia states discovered 36 clusters of illegal refineries in various locations.

“Four cases of oil spills due to the activities of vandals were recorded in the past week,” NNPCL stated, adding that in Rivers State, oil leaks from a wellhead are destroying aquatic lives.

NNPCL said 38 suspects were arrested during the week under review, stressing that the national oil company would not back down on the war against crude oil theft until the menace was eradicated.

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