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Oil Theft: Air strike destroyed over 30 illegal refineries in Rivers



Operation Delta Safe conducted airstrikes that successfully obliterated over 30 operational illegal oil refining sites located in Cawthorne Channel and Bille, within Rivers State’s Degema Local Government Area, according to the report.

Also, storage tanks, reservoirs, and Cotonou boats suspected of stealing crude oil from a flow station were destroyed in the operations.

Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Air Force Spokesperson, announced on Sunday that in the last two months, over 30 illegal refining sites were eliminated in the Bille and Caawthorne areas.

The statement read,

The Nigerian military continues to make moves to end the reign of oil theft in the country, particularly in the Niger Delta Region.

Earlier reports showed that the Nigerian Navy destroyed no fewer than 347 illegal refineries in the last five months.

According to the Navy, the proliferation of illegal refineries had been an enabler of crude oil theft because access to crude supply through vandalism of pipelines had kept the illegal artisanal refineries alive.

Speaking about oil theft in the region, the Director of Information at the Naval Headquarters, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, stated that host communities, traditional rulers and other leaders in the region had a role to play in the reorientation of the perpetrators, especially young people.

He said the menace posed a danger to the environment and was impacting negatively on the country’s revenue.

Described by numerous individuals and institutions as economic sabotage, the country’s oil theft crisis revolves around the reported daily pilferage of about 400,000 barrels of crude oil.

This relentless theft significantly chips away at Nigeria’s income from crude oil exports, the primary pillar of its economy.
Narrating the success of their operation so far in the region, Ayo-Vaughan said,