Navy destroys 365,000 litres illegally refined crude oil in Ilaje
By Tola Gbadamosi
The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, FOB, Igbokoda, has disclosed that it has discovered five illegal refineries containing a total of 365,000 litres of crude oil in Araromi Sea-Side of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Igbokoda, Navy Captain Wasuku Alushi, made this known during a tour to the illegal refining sites on Tuesday.
He said the move was in furtherance of the Nigeria Navy’s fight against crude oil theft and other related vices in the Niger Delta area, specifically in Ilaje Local Government area.
“You will recall that a fortnight ago, the Chief of Naval Staff launched the Operation Delta Sanity with the overall goal of intensifying Nigerian Navy’s efforts in curbing crude oil theft in the Niger Delta area with a view to sanitizing the environment.
“Operation Delta Sanity basically is to sanitize the entire Niger Delta basically from the menace of crude oil thieves, illegal refiners, cultism and other related activities. Part of that mandate is why we are here today to dismantle this illegal refining site, to render them inactive.
Explaining further, he said;” Inside the refining field, there are five different illegal refining ovens, each of the ovens has a 33,000 litres refining capacity as a major refining including two other 10,000 refining capacity, this implies that each of the ovens has a refining capacity of 83,000 litres of crude oil per day.
“They transport the illegally refined crude into these tanks where they apply local technology. Basically the principles of fractional distillation is what they apply basically in their own crude way and then at the end of it they come up with illegally refined HGO which they further transport, perhaps back through the sea to where the market is.
Explaining further, he said the strategy is in triple, “we intend to employ both the kinetic and Non-kinetic efforts towards achieving our objectives.
” Part of what we’re doing here today, is the non-kinetic effort, the idea is that either we catch them at the point of stealing the crude oil or at the point of transporting it or at the point of refining it, so, if we can not get them on ground, the strategy will also imply that we should dismantle their structures.
“It’s a network of crime that is highly organised, so part of our being here this afternoon is to apply one of the strategies which implies that if we cannot catch them at the point of stealing the crude oil, we should catch them at the point of refining or degrade their infrastructure which is what we are doing.