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Navy fingers IOCs in multi-billion dollars crude oil theft ring

The Nigerian Navy has fingered International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Multinational Oil Companies (MOCs) as syndicates in the crude oil theft ring in the Niger…

The Nigerian Navy has fingered International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Multinational Oil Companies (MOCs) as syndicates in the crude oil theft ring in the Niger Delta region.

It accused the IOCs and MOCs of deliberately allowing their oil heads open to crude oil thieves to tap into.

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Aside, it said old oil heads were abandoned all in the guise of it not being economically viable.

Specifically, it said each time it alerted the OICs and MOCs of spillage from oil heads, their responses were usually very odd.

Recalled that the Minister of State, for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, recently said the nation’s crude oil production dropped below one million barrels per day, which, he said is about 100 per cent of its daily production in 2016

Speaking with some journalists in Bayelsa State during a tour of some creeks in the Niger Delta area, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), SOROH, Commodore Daniel Atakpa, said they noticed crude oil flowing endlessly from an oil was well in Okaki, Bayelsa State, owned by Shell.

Atakpa disclosed that the management of Shell was informed about the flow of crude from the oil heads.

“Seven months ago, we noticed that crude oil was flowing out from an oil head in Okaki. We notified the oil company that owns it, Shell Oil Company. Their response is shocking. They said they have not noticed it and that they are prioritising their operations. If you ask me, what kind of priority is that supposed to be? The navy can only do its part, let every other agency do theirs.

“As we speak crude oil is still flowing from the oil head and nothing seems to have been done to address the situation,” he said.

Commodore Atakpa further revealed that in its efforts to clamp down on illegal crude oil cooking camps in the state, it has intensified its patrol of creeks.

“When we arrived at the camp, we noticed that all the criminals had deserted the camps. But what we saw are white flags indicating a truce and that they are ready to allow the military in.

“We came in, levelled the whole area. What we would have done is to move in a swamp buggy to deactivate the entire area. But you can appreciate the distance. It is about three to four hours by speed boats, almost five hours.

“It would require huge logistics, manpower and all other auxiliaries for such movement. But what we did about three weeks ago is to deactivate the camp. But as you can see, they have already started connecting those pipes. Before we leave we are going to deactivate them again.

“Like you saw in those dugout pits, crude oil was flowing into it and it has been flowing since. They heard us coming and that was why they abandoned the camp. Nobody can stop it except at the tapping point.

“The concerned oil company has been notified, but if they like they will stop and if they don’t they won’t,” a visibly angry Atakpa said.

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