Air Strikes Destroy Illegal Oil Refining Sites in Rivers
By Lawrence Audu
The Air Component of Operation Delta Safe has conducted a series of successful air strikes on illegal oil refining sites in Cawthorne Channel and Bille, both located in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The strikes, which were carried out on 15 and 16 September 2023, resulted in the destruction of 7 illegal refining sites and the seizure of a large quantity of illegal refined products.
In a statement released on Sunday, the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said that the air strikes were part of an ongoing effort to deny oil thieves and operators of illegal oil refining sites the opportunity to burst pipelines, operate their illegal oil refineries sites while damaging the environment.
The statement added that the Nigerian Air Force will continue to carry out such operations until all illegal oil refining activities in the Niger Delta region are stopped.
Similar air strikes were also conducted at Bille on 16 September 2023 and in the early hours of 17 September 2023, where 3 illegal oil refining sites with storage tanks and reservoirs were destroyed.
According to reports, in one of the sites, a Cotonou boat suspected to be siphoning crude oil from a flow station was engaged in several passes and destroyed.
In the last 2 months, Cawthorne Channel and Bille have accounted for most oil theft and illegal oil refining activities in Rivers State.
Over 30 illegal oil refining sites in these 2 locations have been destroyed within this period by the Land, Maritime and Air Components of Operation Delta Safe.
These efforts Gabkwet said, will be sustained in these locations and others until oil thieves and their accomplices desist from their illegal activities.