The Federal Government on Friday confirmed the arrest of 210 suspected crude oil thieves in the Niger Delta.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the figure after undertaking an aerial assessment of some hotspots along the Right of Way of the Trans-Niger Pipeline in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The minister also covered the Nembe Creek Trunk Line leading up to the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal that has been under force majeure since March.
Mohammed, who briefed journalists after the 90 minutes aerial survey, said the continued efforts by security agencies had led to the confiscation of 20.2 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) otherwise known as diesel.
According to him, 461,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol), 843,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), and 383,000 barrels of crude oil were confiscated by security agents.
He said an additional 365 illegal refining sites, 1,054 refining ovens, 1,210 metal storage tanks, 838 dugout pits, and 346 reservoirs were also destroyed.
Mohammed said the activities of vandals and economic saboteurs had severely impacted Nigeria’s crude oil and natural gas production.
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He said: “Since the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery of crude oil prices, Nigeria has been unable to meet its OPEC production quota, hurting the Nigerian Economy.
“Due to the nefarious activities of vandals, Nigeria has been losing out on producing approximately 700,000 barrels of oil daily.
“This volume is split between crude stolen and production deferment (shut-ins) due to legitimate fear of losing substantial volumes in transit.
“Terminal receipts have persistently declined, leading to decisions such as the Force Majure declared at the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal in March 2022.”