NNPC visits uncovered illegal pipeline site, hails Tompolo
Officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, led by the General Manager, Joint Venture Operations of National Petroleum Investment Management Services, Zakariya Buduwara, have visited the site of the newly uncovered illegal crude oil pipelines attached to Trans Forcados Export Trunkline, in the Niger Delta oil fields.
The officials, who visited the site on Saturday, paid tribute to operatives of Tantita Security Services led by High Chief Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo, for their discoveries.
The assessment visit revealed that the perpetrators of the latest crime had tapped into Shell’s 48-inch export line from where crude was illegally siphoned into waiting vessels, ready for shipment.
Commenting on the discovery, Zakariya Buduwara declared pointedly that “Tantita Security Services have been doing a great job.”
He added, “NNPC has been on its toes in trying to bring stability to the host communities,” just as he commended the host communities for their support in securing oil and gas facilities, “especially the one we saw which has to do with the crude evacuation line.”
Buduwara however, appealed to all stakeholders to step up efforts in joining force to battle the oil thieves and other saboteurs to standstill.
He said, “All these we are doing is to ensure and also assure Nigerians that we are doing something to curb the menace of this oil theft.
“We know the direct impact oil theft has on the national revenue as well as the environmental hazards, especially on the people in the host communities.
“All you have seen is a demonstration of the collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders. No one can do it alone. We can all do it together to achieve our desired objectives.”
Also speaking on the discoveries, the Marine Intelligence Consultant for Tantita Security Services, Captain Warredi Enisuoh, disclosed that the operatives had gotten intelligence on the modus operandi of the oil thieves much earlier “but we actually discovered this about a week ago, after we’ve gotten full support of NNPC to go in.”
According to him, “The perpetrators of this particular organised crime had tapped into Shell’s 48-inch Export line. The crude has been cleaned up, ready to go. It’s quite expensive so they tapped into it.
“The place was initially filled with water but technologically, they were able to connect their own pipe under water. But we thwarted their line, we traced it to the point where it was tapped. We had to create two dams on either side of the pipe so that the water contained in the dam can be pumped out. For days, we pumped the water out before the illegality was exposed.”
Enisuoh further explained how the culprits illegally disconnected a disused riser operated by AGIP “and they piped crude to BeneBoye flow station.”
“So, instead of piping crude to the flow station the smartest boys in the room decided to export crude, by cutting the AGIP line and connecting theirs.
“And at night, the usual thing happens which is to bring in ships close to the particular platform, connect their hoses and fix same to the vessel to collect the crude. And off they go from there. That is actually a summary of what has happened.”
Enisuoh added, “They are always smart. But they are not smarter than the NNPC, Nigeria or the operatives of Tantita Security Services.
“We are not going to predict what will happen next, so that people don’t get smarter than us. We have to keep what we have for now and plead with those who took their time to steal from Nigeria to please stop. We have suffered enough. I think it is high time we all come together and do something different.”