Defence Headquarters said on Thursday that troops in the Niger Delta have recovered about N1.3 billion worth of crude oil from “oil thieves” in the past two weeks.
Director of the Defence Media Operations, Musa Danmadami, said in a statement that the troops recovered over 3 million litres of automotive gas oil, 26,575 litres of premium motor spirit and 2,000 litres of dual-purpose kerosine.
He explained that troops of Operation Delta Safe, in collaboration with Operation Octopus Grip and Operation Dakar Da Barawo, conducted operational activities in creeks, villages, communities and towns; and in the process destroyed several illegal refining sites.
Danmadami added that the troops are not relenting but have continued the war against oil theft and illegal bunkering, and other criminal activities in the Niger Delta to sustain a conducive environment for economic activities to thrive in the region.
The DHQ statement read, “Consequently, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of operations, OCTOPUS GRIP and Operation DAKAR DA BARAWO conducted operational activities in creeks, villages, communities and towns.
“During the operation, troops also discovered and destroyed several illegal refining sites, which include 493 dugout pits, 512 storage tanks, 413 cooking ovens and 59 wooden boats. Also, troops recovered 4 tankers, 2-speed boats, one generator, one outboard engine, 14 pumping machines,
“3 AK47 rifles, Twenty Five Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy Seven and Fifteen (25,977.15) Barrel of crude oil, Three Million Two Hundred and Thirty-Six Thousand One Hundred and Thirty (3,236,130) litres of Automotive Gas Oil, Twenty Six Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy-Five (26,575) litres of Premium Motor Spirit and Two Thousand (2,000) litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine.
“Troops also arrested 21 pipeline vandals. All recovered items and apprehended oil thieves were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
“Cumulatively, a total value of products denied oil thieves from the period in the review are One Billion Three Hundred and Thirteen Million Twenty Thousand Two Hundred Forty Two Naira (N1,313,020,242.00) only of crude oil, Two Billion Three Hundred Seventy Four Million Six Hundred and Seven Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy One Naira (N2,374,607,471.00) only of AGO, Four Million Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Six Hundred and Twenty Five Naira (N4,650,625.00) only of PMS and Fifteen Million Nine Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand Naira (N15,981,000.00) only of DPK.
“Consequently, a grand total of Three Billion Seven Hundred and Eight Million Two Hundred and Fifty-Nine Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty-Eight Naira (N3,708,259,338.00) only was denied the oil thieves.”
According to Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigeria lost at least $1 billion in the first quarter of 2022 to oil theft.
NUPRC Chief Executive Officer, Gbenga Komolafe, said an unusual level of theft estimated at a daily average of 103,000 barrels recorded in 2021 had grown to 120,000 barrels in the first quarter of 2022.