Illegal pipeline coupled to 48-inch trans-Forcados export trunk line in Ogulagha
OSPIVV threatens to sue NNPCL, SPDC for crude oil pilfering
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South and Akpokona Omafuaire
The Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, TSSNL, a surveillance company operated by ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has discovered another huge illegal pipeline connected to the 48-inch Trans Forcados Export Trunk line, at the rear of a military security post in Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State.
Sources said that oil companies, oil bunkers, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPCL, and security officials jointly steal crude oil through the illicit pipeline connected to the trunk line through an abandoned pipeline by the Nigerians Agip Oil Company Limited, NAOCL, and linked to a location in the high sea, where they load crude oil into vessels and sell overseas.
Meanwhile, the Oil Spill Victims Initiative, OSPIVV, has threatened to sue NNPCL and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, over the illegal pipeline connections used to siphon the country’s crude oil.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, operates the Forcados Terminal in Ogulagha, which has a nameplate capacity to export 400,000 barrels per day. It takes delivery of crude from the Forcados Oil Pipeline System and is the second largest pipeline network in the oil-producing region, after the Bonny Pipeline System in the eastern Niger Delta.
Some IOCs and Nigerian independents operating in the western Niger Delta pump oil to the Forcados Oil Terminal for exports.
The newest discovery is like the earlier illegal 4-km pipeline also attached to the same Trans–Forcados export trunk line, earlier discovered by Tantita operatives.
An executive director of OSPIVV, Prince Harrison Jalla, told reporters in Warri, “There are many reports of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta, but we are particularly interested in the theft of crude oil from the Forcados Terminal.”
“They have been stealing our national heritage for the past nine years and no one can say for sure where it began or where it ended. We want to start by holding the NNPCL and SPDC accountable for the oil theft and the atrocities committed against the Niger Delta people.
“We will take on the NNPCL and SPDC. We have already briefed our solicitors to sue. So many International Oil Companies have to account for this heist, but we want to start with the Shell Group because there is no way they could pipe crude oil from those terminals without the involvement of those running the terminal.
“We do not know if other areas where pipelines traverse the region are involved. We can now see there is a massive approach to stealing crude oil in the Niger Delta region. Therefore, we are going to court. The two organizations should let the court know what they know about the massive oil heists since 2003.
“If we have a court where everyone will recount what they know, it is fair and good for us. We want to take them to a proper court of competent jurisdiction to unravel what is happening in the trunk lines.
“Our interest is to unravel what has been happening in the oil sector, so whether they claim it at Forcados Terminal is not our business. Our concern is that some people have perpetrated the crime of massive oil theft and the resources pocketed by those we do not know. The international community and IOCs are involved,” he said.
On the newly uncovered criminal pipeline, sources informed Sunday Vanguard that the bunkers actually ferry the crude to the sea for loading and onward movement abroad through the abandoned NAOC pipeline.