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Further raids of illegal refineries in Nigeria

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Shipping of illegal crude foiled

Operation Pulo Shield, run by the Niger Delta Joint Task Force (JTF), has seized and impounded two barges that were carrying stolen crude. The illegal vassals were found on Kasabobo Creek in Bayelsa during a routine anti oil theft patrol by the JTF. This capture follows the destruction of 48 illegal refineries in the region during the last week in August.

Illegal refineries

Eight illegal refineries and distillers were also found along Ogbenibiri, Kugbie and Forupa in Southern Ijaw along with seven illegal steel reservoirs. All were covered and buried in an attempt to hide them from the JTF.

In a further separate raid by the JTF, four people have been arrested suspected of additional illegal crude distillation at a site near Bonny Island. 21 drums containing automated gas oil were found in their possession along with four speedboats which were most likely going to be used to ship the illegally refined products. The crude used to manufacture the gas oil was stolen from the PPMC pipeline via a crudely attached metal pipe.

The arrests by the JTF didn’t end with the above as in a further operation pipeline vandals were arrested in the Warri North and Warri South Local Government Areas of Delta. These arrests lead to the discovery of five more illegal refineries, 15 wooden boats, 10 storage tanks and 112 drums of illegally sourced crude.

Financial losses due to illegal refining

It is thought by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) that the country looses US$ 6 billion/y due to theft of crude oil. The association fear that if this amount of money falls in to the wrong hands, the country’s security and democracy is at stake. PENGASSAN also believe that up to 60 000 bpd are stolen from the Nembe Creek. Agip is also affected by theft as it has recently had to reduce production by 60% because of theft levels of 90 bpd.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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