About 58 illegal oil points have been discovered so far since the operation to end oil theft on the waterways of Delta and Bayelsa states began.
Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo who is an ex-militant leader made this known in a press briefing at Oporoza on Sunday which was monitored by Africa Daily News, New York.
He provided an update on the recent discovery of a 4km illegal crude oil pipeline in the Forcados area of Delta State.
‘I think we have found over 58 points that have been tapped in both Delta and Bayelsa states,’ he noted.
According to him, with this breakthrough, stakeholders in the region are optimistic that the war against crude oil theft will be won.
Tompolo also commended the effort of the military and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for collaborating with him on the operation, promising to do everything possible to bring the menace to a halt.
‘You know, we are doing this work together with security agencies. We are only providing intelligence for the security people to assist to do the work. So, everybody – both NNPC and others– we are working together in a very good spirit now,’ Tompolo said.
‘The major problem is that the aquatic life of the area is gone. We are doing everything within our powers together with the traditional rulers and everyone to see that – with the help of the Nigerian Navy, Army DSS, and everybody – we reduce this to the barest minimum so that our people can survive after this time.’
Sunday’s comment came on the heels of another uncovered illegal oil connection from Forcados Terminal that operated for nine years.
The NNPCL Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, disclosed this on Tuesday at the Senate’s joint committees on Gas and Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream).
‘Oil theft in the country has been going on for over 22 years but the dimension and rate it assumed in recent times is unprecedented,‘ Kyari said.
He added the Brass, Forcados, and Bonny terminals were all practically doing zero production.