Nigeria Navy Wages War Against Illegal Oil Bunkering


Over the years, Nigeria has witnessed series of illegal oil bunkering and crude oil theft. Some 200,000 barrels a day — representing about 10 percent of the country’s production — are siphoned off pipelines crisscrossing the region of Niger Delta. Many criminals on this case have been arrested by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Recently, the Nigeria Navy has intensified effort in her fight against crude oil theft and illegal bunkering once again. The navy is winning the war gradually on daily basis, Forward Operating Base (FOB) BONNY anti-crude oil theft patrol team acting on information discovered 2 Cotonou boats laden with product suspected to be crude oil along Peter Side Creek, the boats were destroyed along with the products.

Similarly, another Navy Base , FOB FORMOSO’s patrol team has arrested 3 suspected vandals/looters onboard a vessel MT FRANKENSEN, other item recovered were, one speed boat with 1 x 75 HP engine, one pumping machine, one Hacksaw and spanners. Many of the thieves were arrested “It is the only job we are doing,” said an illegal refiner who gave his name as Ibeci. “There is no other job.”

Initially, The Joint Task Force (JTF), arrested 20 ships at the first quarter of this year over offences bordering on oil theft and that the command also destroyed 854 illegal refineries within the period. It was also notified that many hardened sea pirates, kidnappers and cultists were arrested.

However, The Federal Government loses about $25 billion yearly to oil theft, sea piracy and poaching. A breakdown showed that $800 million is lost to poaching, $9 billion to piracy and $15.5 billion to oil theft. The rate of pollution of the waters from Lagos to the oil-producing Southsouth is also high.

Recently, Another 2 speedboat mounted with 75HP engine each were also recovered from MT ASHKAY, as the suspected vandals jumped into the water and swam to a nearby creek on sighting of the naval patrol team. 3 suspects were arrested and presently in custody for further investigation.

The Nigeria Navy says it has made seizures of over thirty vessels for various Maritime related crimes and destroyed several illegal refineries from January to date in its fight against illegal Bunckering and other Maritime related crimes. The Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Ameen Ikioda stated this during the decoration of the newly promoted Naval Officers in Abuja. He further explained that the war against oil theft and illegal Bunkering will continue untill it is eradicated. He also stated that this act is affecting the country’s development as oil is the major source for revenue.

Oil is the lifeblood of Nigeria’s economy. Since the company that would become Royal Dutch Shell PLC discovered the first commercially viable well in 1956, oil earnings grew to account for some 80 percent of all government revenue in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people. It is very important that the oil theft and illegal bunkering is stopped. The oil sector provides needed funding for projects in the country which will aid development.

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