THE Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited said it recorded 149 incidences of crude oil theft across the Niger Delta in one week.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Company said in one of the incidents, an oil bunkering site was uncovered in Osuobodo between two ANTAN flow stations south of Oguta naval base in Imo state.
It stated, “Far from the regular, these criminals have taken their activities a notch higher. In this camp, CCTV cameras have been installed on trees by the thieves to look out for security operatives. Mortar launchers and defence systems were also mounted by the oil thieves in various locations to eliminate any perceived enemy.”
This discovery, NNPCL said, was made possible after an invasion by the military following information gathered by an air surveillance carried out by Target Energy, Tantita security services, Operation Delta Safe and the Military in August.
It stated that, “It is a well orchestrated mission. The thieves are determined to live here and trade their stolen crude. A lack of electricity is no excuse. Generators are on standby to keep the camp’s operations afloat.”
Drums of crude oil feeding from an illegal connection, bags used for storing crude and more were discovered on the camp, it added.
Again, it said, “Between the 14th to 20th of October, 2023, 49 illegal connections were uncovered in Udu & Ogharefe in Delta State, making the state the biggest, 13 Ohaji Egbema in Imo, 25 Brass in Bayelsa and in 38 Rivers state.
“At this spot in Rivers state, oil thieves drilled a tunnel underneath the tarred road to insert their illegal connection. The aim is to operate undetected. This was planned and carried out by an expert, using a horizontal directional drilling machine.”
Sixteen cases of pipeline vandalism were also recorded this week in Azuzu in Bayelsa state and Obodo Omadina and Ogidigbein in Delta state where a well head was vandalised.
In Ozuaku in Abia state, NNPCL said a vandalised pipeline was currently being repaired.
10 facilities used for storing stolen crude were also uncovered in various locations in the Niger Delta in the past week.
It stated, “In Ekpemu in Delta state, an interesting discovery was made.