Navy combats oil theft with 40 ships, five helicopters, 200 boats
• We expect measurable results in three weeks, says NNPC
The Nigerian Navy on Friday began what could be called its biggest operation to end oil theft and illegal refining in the Niger Delta and its fringes, with the deployment of 40 ships, five helicopters and 200 boats .
Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo disclosed the deployments while responding to reporters shortly after the report of the special operation, codenamed ‘Dakatar Da Barawo (Arrest the Thief), aboard the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Okpabana in Onne, Rivers State on Friday.
Gambo, who was represented by Chief of Policy and Planning, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, said the three-month operation was in collaboration with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.
Garba said, “We are bringing everything the Nigerian Navy needs to bring to this operation, to ensure that on schedule, the impact of this operation will be felt and the country will regain full control of its resources.
“We say no less than 30 to 40 ships, with no less than 100 to 200 boats. We bring in about four to five helicopters. Some helicopters come and go. Basically, our special forces and all our units will be involved,” the CNS said.
Vice Admiral Gambo said, on the other hand, that the Navy is responsible for securing the maritime domain, “especially all activities related to our petroleum products, movement of crude oil, production as well as distribution with the maritime domain.
“Therefore, in collaboration with the NNPC, the Nigerian Navy has embarked on this operation to first trace where the problem lies.
“Second, hunt down the culprits who are causing this problem and try to bring Nigeria back to a very healthy economic and prosperous state,” he said.
The CNS said that the Nigerian Navy under its leadership remains committed to stamping out all acts of criminality in the maritime domain of Nigeria and by extension in the Gulf of Guinea for the economic welfare of the people.
He explained that “Operation Dakara Da Barawo will consist of dominating the backwaters of the country through aggressive and intelligence-driven patrols.
“It would also be dedicated to monitoring pipelines, blocking identified strategic estuaries to prevent the transport of stolen crude oil from shore to sea, and maintaining a credible presence along the coastline of areas prone to crude oil theft.
“The operation would also involve aerial surveillance as well as the insertion of special forces to carry out clearance operations,” while soliciting the support of key stakeholders to achieve the desired outcome.
To further bolster the Nigerian Navy’s maritime security operation efforts, he said, “As we sit here, the Nigerian Navy is taking delivery of a new tank-100 landing ship, named NNS KADA from the United Arab Emirates. United, and will set sail on her maiden voyage to Nigeria later today.
Measurable results against oil theft expected in three weeks, NNPC says
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited announced on Friday that measurable results against the massive theft of crude oil in the Niger Delta would be visible in two to three weeks.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, who made the announcement in Abuja, also disclosed that crude oil theft is currently the biggest business disruption facing Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
He spoke at the headquarters of the oil firm during the inauguration of the electronic materials management solution by National Petroleum Investment Management Services, a subsidiary of NNPC.
On March 24, 2022, The PUNCH reported that the total value of Nigerian crude oil stolen between January 2021 and February 2022 was approximately $3.27 billion (representing 1.361 billion naira at the official exchange rate of 416.25 naira for a dollar), depending on the numbers. of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission.
International oil companies and their Nigerian counterparts have also recently said that the massive theft of oil across the country poses a threat not only to their existence but also to the Nigerian economy.
Commenting on the threat in Abuja on Friday, Kyari said efforts had been stepped up to deal with it as he expressed optimism about the results in three weeks.
He said: “As we speak, there is a massive disruption to our operations due to the activities of vandals and criminals along our pipelines in the Niger Delta region.
“It has brought our production down to levels as low as we have ever seen before. Today we produce less than 1.5 million barrels a day simply because some criminals decided they might have violations on our pipelines.
Nigeria’s oil production quota by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has hovered around 1.8 million barrels per day. The country has repeatedly missed this target due to oil theft.
“And that is clearly the biggest form of business disruption we face today,” the NNPC boss said.
He added: “That kind of commitment, the certifications that we have today around our systems and processes should be able to address that. And part of the answer is to put in place the best possible framework to contain this situation.
“And I am very optimistic that in the next two to three weeks very measurable results will occur so that our activities continue. As we speak, the Nigerian Navy is launching a massive operation to contain the theft of oil in the Niger Delta.
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