Home Oil and Gas 27 illegal refineries dismantled in Rivers, eight suspected pipeline vandals nabbed

27 illegal refineries dismantled in Rivers, eight suspected pipeline vandals nabbed

by Business News Report

The task force set up in Rivers State said it has dismantled 27 illegal refineries operating in the state. The task force in an operation led by Rowland Sekibo dismantled 27 artisanal refineries in Obonoma Creeks in the area. Kpofire in Akuku-Toru, LGA’ had declared total war on artisanal refineries, adding that the creeks of Obonoma, Osama, Soku, Abise and Kula must be free of the criminal business. Addressing newsmen at the Council headquarters, Sekibo, said that four of the sites were destroyed at Agama creek, ten at Fonosama, adding that the operation was on.

Also eight suspected pipeline vandals were arrested in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State by the task force chairman, Rowland Sekibo, in the fight against oil bunkering. Sekibo, who said the action was in line with the directive of the governor of the state, Chief Nyesome Wike, that all LGA chairmen in the State should clamp down on illegal oil bunkering and destroy all artisanal refineries within their domain. He noted that the Council has therefore declared total war on all oil bunkering activities in the LGA and promised to canvass the length and breadth of the creeks to dislodge the operators. Sekibo said: “A total of six (6) locally fabricated ovens/artisanal refineries and five (5) oil reservoirs filled with products suspected to be crude oil and refined petroleum products allegedly owned and operated by one Mr Ikior was discovered. The task force was able to manually dismantle and destroy the ovens to avert any outbreak of fire that will further pollute the already combustible environment thereby adding to the menace of black carbon in the atmosphere rather than diminishing its effect.

“Sunday, 23rd January 2022 which is the day two (2) of the clampdown on illegal bunkering alais “kpofire'” in Akulga, the Taskforce on illegal bunkering with the assistance of the joint team of military and paramilitary personnel invaded yet another camp situated deep in the creeks of Fonosama and Agama in Obonoma Community where we uncovered another four (4) illegal refinery sites and makeshift storage facilities. The owner is the camp is yet to be identified. Monday, 24th of January 2022 which is day three ( 3) o16f the operation, members of the task force and a team of combined military and paramilitary personnel uncovered more sites in the mangrove swamps of Fonosama in Obonoma were a total number of ten (10) locally made refinery and over twenty ( 20) reservoirs containing products suspected to be crude oil and already refined petroleum products were stored. The alleged owner of the site is one Mr Portus. He noted that the task force was able to dismantle the ovens and the makeshift huts and confiscate some equipment on the site, adding that the total of 27 illegal oil refineries have been uncovered and destroyed within the Obonoma community. He said that the team in their operation arrested a suspected pipeline vandals, adding that they were apprehended with their equipment while they were in operation. He said; “The task force on illegal bunkering and the local security vigilante ( Akulga OSPAC ) on monday night, intercepted and apprehended eight ( 8) pipe line vandals who were caught in the act of vandalising oil facilities. The suspects were intercepted at Boro creek in kula community and are currently in the custody of the Police.

“As a responsible government, we believe there is no justification for the magnitude of economic sabotage and environmental degradation caused by the perpetrator of this crime against the collective interest and well-being of the citizens of this state, and we condemn in its entirety the criminal conduct of these oil thieves and their sponsors.” He warned paramount ruler and chiefs to desist from the supporting the business, maintaining that no matter how highly placed any Chief that is fingered in the illicit business in any of the communities in the area would be made to face the wrath of the law.

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