Troops of the Nigerian army, on Wednesday, destroyed an illegal oil refinery in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, south-south Nigeria.
The army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
Mr Nwachukwu, a brigadier-general, said the illegal refinery was destroyed by troops of 6 Division of the army as part of their ongoing onslaught against “saboteurs of Nigeria’s oil sector in South-south Nigeria.”
The army spokesperson said the operation was carried out in response to a tip-off about activities of some suspected oil thieves at the site of the illegal refinery located in Ogboko and Atu in the council area.
“During the operations, troops destroyed eight active ovens used for illegal refining of stolen crude oil, 14 storage reservoirs containing stolen crude oil estimated at 200, 000 litres and 90, 000 litres of locally refined Automotive Gas Oil,” he said.
Mr Nwachukwu said the suspected oil thieves fled the scene, on sighting the troops advancing to the site.
The spokesperson added that the illegal refinery was destroyed in line with extant guidelines of operations Delta Safe of the army.
“Investigation is ongoing to arrest the fleeing criminals,” he stated.
He urged residents of the state to report to security agencies any crime around their neighbourhood to enhance the army’s operations and ongoing efforts to curb oil theft in the country.
Oil theft, illegal bunkering in oil-producing communities mainly in South-south Nigeria, and its negative impact on the country’s economy have been a source of concern to the Nigerian government over the years.
The federal government in August 2022 awarded a pipeline surveillance contract reportedly worth N48 billion per year (N4 billion per month) to Government Ekpemupolo, who is popularly known as Tompolo, to check massive oil theft in the region.
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