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NNPC launches aggressive crackdown: 83 illegal refineries,15 pipeline connections unearthed in Niger Delta

National oil company intensifies efforts against oil theft, inspecting an illegal vessel loaded with crude and arresting all 23 crew members.

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In a determined effort to curb crude oil theft, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has made significant strides, uncovering 83 illegal refineries and 15 illegal pipeline connections in the Niger Delta region within the past week. This revelation comes as part of the ongoing war against illicit activities impacting the country’s oil sector.

The NNPCL, through its official platform on X, reported that between January 6 and 12, 2023, a total of 211 incidents related to oil theft and vandalism were documented. The company, along with its partners, has been resolute in halting the menace of crude oil theft, which has plagued the Niger Delta region.

In a recent inspection led by Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group CEO of NNPC Ltd., and General Christopher Musa, Chief of Defense Staff, an illegal crude oil vessel named MT Kali was intercepted in Oporoza, Warri, Delta State. The vessel, loaded with thousands of metric tonnes of crude oil, was apprehended by Tantita Security Services in collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps. All 23 crew members onboard the illegal vessel have been arrested.

General Musa emphasized the military’s commitment to collaborating with national oil firms and various security agencies to combat crude oil theft. He stated, “We are committed to stopping all acts of criminality in Nigerian waters. The country is bleeding, and we need all the funds to develop as a nation. It is by stopping these acts of criminality that we will be able to achieve that dream.”

The NNPC, through its comprehensive inspection tour, also disclosed the discovery of 83 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region. The simultaneous revelation of 15 illegal pipeline connections further underscores the scale of the illicit operations being targeted.

This latest crackdown follows the company’s announcement a week ago, where it revealed the discovery of 52 illegal refineries and 32 illegal pipeline connections in the Niger Delta. The NNPC’s relentless efforts aim to safeguard the nation’s oil resources, minimize theft, and foster sustainable development.

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