The Nigerian Navy said it has arrested 14 individuals involved in illegal oil bunkering in an operation in the Elem Krakama community, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

It said during the operation, an illegal oil refining site capable of producing over 9.6 million litres of diesel per day was discovered.

The Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship, Pathfinder, Commodore Desmond Igbo, on Thursday, told newsmen that the suspects were siphoning crude oil from a tapped oil wellhead belonging to Oil Mining Lease (OML-18) operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in the area.

He said the wellhead was found to be severely compromised due to the activities of the suspected oil thieves.

“The illegal refining site had 16 cooking pots, each capable of containing 6,000 litres of diesel. Additionally, three wooden boats with a total storage capacity of 70 metric tons were seized during the operation,” he said.

Commodore Igbo expressed concern about the extensive economic sabotage occurring in the location and emphasized the Navy’s commitment to eradicating illegal oil refining activities.

He highlighted the detrimental impact of such activities on the country’s economy and stressed the need to prevent their continuation.

April 5, 2024

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