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NNPCL Uncovers 122 Illegal Oil Refining Sites in Niger Delta

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has identified 122 illegal oil refining sites across the Niger Delta region within the past week. Additionally, a filling station in Akwa Ibom State was shut down for selling illegally refined fuel to motorists.

According to a documentary released by the NNPCL on Tuesday, 65 illegal pipeline connections were discovered and removed in Rivers State and other areas in the Niger Delta.

From May 18 to 24, NNPCL recorded 310 incidents as part of its efforts to combat oil theft and vandalism. The filling station selling illegal fuel was located at Grey Creek in Akwa Ibom State.

The illegal refineries were found in locations such as Tomble II, III, IV, and Umuajuloke in Rivers State, as well as Oporomor III, Eduwini, and Ajatiton in Bayelsa State. Vandalized wellheads were also discovered in Tomble IV, Rivers State, and Egbema in Imo State, along with a pit filled with crude oil from a damaged wellhead.

NNPCL reported the discovery of five illegal storage sites where oil was stored in sacks, pits, cans, and a filling station. Twenty vehicles, including a tanker, were seized in Delta and Imo states, while 29 boats transporting crude oil or illegally refined products were confiscated in several creeks in Bayelsa and Delta states. Thirty-three suspects have been arrested in connection with these activities.

Mele Kyari, NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, recently emphasized the need to address security challenges in the oil and gas sector to enhance production. He pointed out that oil theft and vandalism continue to impede Nigeria’s crude oil output.

“To increase oil production, we must tackle the security challenges in our onshore assets. This issue affects not just theft but also the infrastructure needed to deliver oil to the market,” Kyari stated. “In the past two years, we have removed over 5,800 illegal connections from our pipelines and shut down more than 6,000 illegal refineries. Investors will only fund oil production if they are assured that the infrastructure is secure and the product will reach the market.”

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