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Army destroys over 1m litres capacity refinery, with 8 reservoirs

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Emmanuel Nlewedum, Port Harcourt



In continuation of its fight against oil theft in Rivers State and Niger Delta region, the Nigerian Army on Friday destroyed an over one million litres capacity illegal refinery located at a thick forest in Odagwa Community in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.


The illegal crude oil refinery which allegedly steals crude oil from wellheads in the area, was destroyed during an anti-crude oil theft operation led by the Garrison Command of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt.


Addressing Journalists shortly after a tour on the illegal refining site, Commander, 6 Division Garrison and Sector 3, Operation Delta Safe, OPDS, Brigadier General Eddie Effiong, disclosed that eight reservoirs filled with stolen crude oil and five boilers were discovered during the operation.


Effiong said the operation was carried out after a tip off, notifying the division of the establishment of the illegal refining site, shortly after they had destroyed another site last month, in the area.


He said, “In continuation of the fight against crude oil theft and illegal bunkering activities, we got a tip off that since we destroyed the last illegal oil refinery on the opposite side, the oil thieves have relocated here and then reestablished their illegal refineries and continue their illegal activities.


“And coming here today, we found out that they truly relocated to the right side and reestablished their illegal refining site, and they are still trying to establish more. And having confirmed this, we are here to ensure that those illegal refineries are destroyed.


“In this reestablished illegal refinery, we have discovered 8 reservoirs and 5 cooking pots. And from our gathering, the minimum quantity of crude in each reservoir is nothing less about 100,000 litres of stolen crude.


“In all, what we discovered here in all the reservoirs, is nothing less than a million litres of stolen crude that is about to be refined into AGO (diesel).”


The 6 Division Garrison Commander, said they will not rest on their oars until the fight against illegal oil bunkering and oil theft is won in the region. “We will keep trailing them and continue to destroy the illegal sites, despite how difficult the terrain could be.


He said they are employing a non-kinetic approach to advise the oil thieves and talk to their consciences through regular seminars as well as their community heads and youth leaders to turn a new leaf.


He however advised all those involved in illegal oil bunkering activities in the state and Niger Delta to repent and look for better means of making money.


“We are also trying our best to discourage them through their village heads and youth leaders, talking to them to repent and engage in a better and legal business.


“We all know what the crude oil is to the Nigerian economy. Everyone in the country is feeling the impact of the economy presently, and the more they do this, it is also going to impact negatively on all of us.


“Yes, things are hard but that shouldn’t push us into criminality, because our country is bleeding and if we keep doing this, we will keep bleeding the more and everybody will feel it,” he said.

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