Commodore Suleman Ibrahim, the Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, reported that the Navy's patrol helicopter identified the illegal....
By Tamuno Briggs
The Nigerian Navy has uncovered and disabled oil equipment belonging to a suspected oil syndicate in Elem Krakama Creek, located in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State. Specifically, the Navy dismantled the equipment used for extracting crude oil from Oil Well 17, which is operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
Commodore Suleman Ibrahim, the Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, reported that the Navy’s patrol helicopter identified the illegal activities on July 11, 2023. On Saturday, Ibrahim led journalists to the site, where they discovered and dismantled multiple underground pipelines.
Furthermore, four individuals involved in the illegal oil bunkering were apprehended in a separate incident. Ibrahim expressed surprise at the high level of expertise demonstrated by the suspects during the excavation. He emphasized that such large-scale oil theft could not have been carried out by amateurs, highlighting the syndicate’s sophistication and specialized knowledge.
Addressing newsmen, Ibrahim said, “We came here with members of the NNPC OML 18 Resources, they are the owners of the well.
“We came with our heavy equipment to make sure we dismantle the illegal structures that are being used to siphon crude illegally.
“A lot of pipes have been recovered from the wellhead and we have disconnected where they are being connected to.
“As an individual, what I have seen here is way beyond what I have seen elsewhere. The level of sophistication is beyond our imagination.
“The individuals involved had taken their time and done a lot of measurements and did welding on-site.”
He declared that the criminal organization involved in the illegal activity was under surveillance, affirming that they would be arrested and brought to justice.
The Commander of NHS Pathfinder stated that the technical staff of NNPC OML18 had visited the second location, Kala Ekweama, and conducted their assessment.
In light of this, Ibrahim mentioned that efforts would commence soon at both sites to repair the areas that had been compromised.
Meanwhile, the Navy has apprehended four individuals suspected of involvement in oil bunkering.
The Navy commander disclosed that although the four suspects reside in Borikiri, Port Harcourt, they originate from the Southern Ijaw region of Bayelsa State.
Upon interrogation, the suspects admitted to being paid N20,000 to transport diesel from the creek to Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.
He confirmed that the four suspects would be handed over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.