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In a relentless crackdown on oil theft and vandalism, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) disclosed the obliteration of 82 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region between February 10 and 15, 2024.

Speaking on the recent discoveries, an NNPCL representative emphasized the gravity of the situation, “We uncovered a disturbing number of illegal operations, a stark reminder of the persistent challenges we face in safeguarding our resources.”

The revelations came to light in a brief video released on Tuesday, showcasing an oil pit directly linked to an illicit oil source in Okrika, Rivers State.

The video further displayed the interconnection of several pipelines funneling crude into the pit, underscoring the scale of the clandestine activities. “The extent of these operations is alarming,” the NNPCL spokesperson commented, “with 20 illegal connections spanning across multiple states.”

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During the operations, numerous illegal storage sites were unearthed across the region, accompanied by the seizure of sacks and cans containing stolen crude oil in Rivers and Edo States. Additionally, vandalized wellheads and pipelines were discovered in Rivers and Bayelsa, further exacerbating concerns over the rampant vandalism plaguing the region.

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Despite concerted efforts by both public and private entities to curb oil theft, the NNPCL remains vigilant in its pursuit of eradicating such illicit activities.

“Our commitment to combating oil theft and vandalism remains unwavering,” affirmed the NNPCL spokesperson, echoing the sentiment shared by the organization. The firm’s resolve was underscored by the apprehension of 52 suspects allegedly involved in the illicit operations.

The persistent prevalence of oil theft poses a significant challenge to Nigeria’s oil production, exacerbating the nation’s economic woes. As the NNPCL continues its crackdown, the hope remains to stem the tide of illegal activities and safeguard the country’s invaluable resources for future generations.

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