Nigeria records 127 crude oil theft incidents in one week, says NNPCL

Nigeria recorded 127 incidents of oil theft between December 2 and 8, 2023, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) has disclosed.


This development was contained in a report released on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, by NNPCL via its official X, formerly known as Twitter account.

The company disclosed further that alongside its security partners, they uncovered many events during the reporting week namely, 51 illegal refineries were uncovered, 29 illegal connections were identified, 8 vessels were found to have AIS (Automatic Identification System) infractions and six acts of pipeline vandalism were detected.

Other infractions recorded include identification of 5 illegal storage, 13 arrests were made involving wooden boats, 3 oil spills were reported and 11 vehicle arrests were made, along with 1 vessel arrest.


The sources of these incidents were attributed as follows: Pipeline International Nigeria Limited was linked to 31 incidents. Maton Nigeria Limited was associated with 30 incidents. Tantita Security Services Limited reported 15 incidents. Shell Petroleum Development Company reported 12 incidents. NNPCL Command and Control Center reported 8 incidents. Government Security Agencies reported 31 incidents.

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These crude oil theft incidents occurred across various locations in Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Abia, and Imo states. The report highlighted the identification of some of the thieves apprehended during the week. Three thieves were arrested in Isoko South, while three others remain at large.

Two of the arrested individuals were named: Benard Innocent from Isoko South in Delta state, and Adam Akpobome Godstime, a resident of Owodokpokpo in Delta state. The report mentioned that arms, ammunition, and charms were found at the locations where these theft incidents occurred. Those arrested in Isoko South were allegedly responsible for crude oil theft activities in Uzere and Owodokpokpo in Delta state.

In total, five crude oil theft suspects were arrested during the highlighted week. The incidents occurred in various regions: 9 in the Deep Blue Water, 23 in the Western region, 45 in the Central region, and 50 in the Eastern region of the Niger Delta’s oil-producing areas.

Additionally, the report highlighted an incident where Tantita Security Services Limited intercepted a vessel stealing crude oil from a wellhead offshore in Ondo State. There was resistance encountered during the interception. The vessel, currently held by the Nigerian Navy, was reported to have engaged in suspicious activities in Ghana on November 29, 2023, and four times in Nigeria between August and October 2023.

The vessel sails under a Nigerian flag, registered under Regan Navigation Limited since March 2022, with Randling Marine identified as the beneficial owner since May 2023. It was previously flagged on November 11, 2023, due to multiple identity changes and suspicious activities resembling tankers used in unauthorized crude oil activities.

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