Oil theft: Nigerian Navy uncovers sabotaged NNPC wellhead in Rivers


Title: Nigeria Navy Uncovers Illegal Oil Siphoning Mechanism in OML 18 Wellheads

The Nigeria Navy recently made a significant discovery in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18 wellheads, uncovering a sophisticated mechanism used for siphoning crude oil into waiting barges. This illegal operation took place in OML 18, which is owned and operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited. The Nigeria Navy’s efforts in combating oil theft and securing vital oil assets are crucial in protecting the country’s resources and economy.

Discovery of the Illegal Operation:
Commodore Sulaiman Ibrahim, Commander of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, announced the discovery of the illegal operation in the wellheads located in Kala Ekweama community, Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers. A routine aerial patrol by the navy observed the installation, prompting the deployment of gunboats to monitor the site and prevent further illicit activities. The Nigeria Navy remains committed to curbing illegal crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region.

Recovered Items and Technical Challenges:
During the operation, naval troops recovered boats, equipment, and other machinery associated with the illegal siphoning operation. However, efforts to extract oil from the compromised wellheads have proven challenging due to the extent of the damage. The navy has requested technical expertise from the operators of OML 18 to address the situation effectively. Skilled personnel are necessary to overcome the technical difficulties hindering the recovery process. The Nigeria Navy remains determined to combat all forms of oil theft and protect vital oil assets in the region.

Collaboration and Public Support:
Commodore Ibrahim urged the public to provide useful information about individuals involved in oil theft in their communities, assuring them of the confidentiality of their identities. He emphasized that combating oil theft in the Niger Delta requires the collective efforts of security agencies and the Nigerian people. The Federal Government acknowledges and appreciates the commitment of the armed forces in combating oil theft and other illegal activities. Commodore Ibrahim challenged those making allegations of collusion between military personnel and oil thieves to provide specific names for appropriate action to be taken.

Strengthening Security Measures:
To effectively combat oil theft and safeguard oil assets, enhanced security measures are crucial in the Niger Delta region. The Nigeria Navy, in collaboration with other security agencies, should intensify patrols, surveillance, and intelligence gathering to identify and disrupt illegal activities promptly. Closer cooperation between the navy and oil companies is necessary to strengthen security protocols and protect oil installations. Regular training and capacity building programs for naval personnel should be conducted to enhance their skills and knowledge in combating oil theft.

The discovery of an illegal oil siphoning mechanism in the OML 18 wellheads by the Nigeria Navy highlights the ongoing challenges posed by oil theft in the Niger Delta. The navy’s prompt response and commitment to combating these illicit activities are commendable. Collaboration between security agencies, oil companies, and the local community is essential to effectively address this issue. Public support and the provision of actionable information are vital in identifying and apprehending those involved in oil theft. The Federal Government must continue to prioritize the fight against oil theft and support security agencies in their efforts to safeguard Nigeria’s oil assets. By strengthening security measures, promoting transparency, and improving cooperation, the country can make significant progress in curbing oil theft and ensuring the sustainability of its oil industry.

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