Military foils N1.2bn crude oil theft as production increases

The Defence Headquarters said on Thursday that troops in the last two weeks intercepted stolen crude worth N1.2 billion as Nigeria’s oil production capacity increased in September.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba said this on Thursday in Abuja while briefing journalists on the activities of the Military in the past two weeks.

The Defence spokesperson vowed to incapacitate terrorists from conducting small-scale attacks on soft targets.

He also said troops, during their operations, killed 73 terrorists, arrested 182, and rescued 68 hostages in one week.

He said, “The ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations have prevented these evil elements from accomplishing their strategic objectives.

“The Military will continue to degrade their ability to carry out small-scale attacks which are intended to create panic in localities.”

The director noted that the troops identified and destroyed 63 illegal refining sites containing 15 dugout pits, 45 boats, 87 storage tanks, 128 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, four outboard engines and arrested 14 suspected oil thieves.

Buba added that the troops recovered 962,500 litres of stolen crude oil, 35,420 litres of illegally refined AGO, 38,450 litres of DPK, and 45,000 litres of PMS with an estimated value of N1, ,212,046,140.

The Telegraph recalls that oil theft had been a major challenge, depleting the country’s oil production capacity.

Meanwhile, the improved fight against oil theft had increased Nigeria’s production capacity in September to 1.7 million barrels per day, up from the 1.1mbpd recorded in August.