Chairman of Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mbakpone Okpe, has uncovered a crude oil theft point in his domain, The Nation learnt. The discovery was said to be on the Trans Niger Pipeline operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited in Okpe’s Locality.
We also learnt that the illegal operation has lasted at least seven years in the place and that the stealing is successfully being carried out with one and half inches pipe, and capable of loading two tankers of 33,000 litres of crude oil per night.
The Council chairman reportedly led personnel of the Nigerian Army, Department of State Services, Tai local security task force, as well as a combined pipeline surveillance contractors of the Tantita SSL, PINL and the Civil society groups to the illegsl loading point .
At the scene were SPDC workers on the Trans Niger Pipeline doing routine maintenance job, who eventually took over the theft point and remove the tapping point after the discovery.
The Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC)-Nigeria, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, who also witnessed the process, condemned all forms of crude oil theft and illegal refineries activities.
Fyneface also called on the Federal Government to provide alternative livelihood opportunities for artisanal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta through modular refineries and establishment of Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative, PACORDI.