The security company authorized by the federal government, the Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, operated by a former militant commander, Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, has unraveled another illegal pipeline connecting to the Trans Forcados Export Trunk line. According to the report, the illegal oil pipeline was discovered close to a military security post less than one kilometre from the Forcados Export terminal in Ogulagha, a community in Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State, south-south Nigeria.
In August the Federal Government had ensured the region’s safety over oil theft and vandalism to the security company awarded through a surveillance contract reportedly worth N48 billion per year (N4 billion per month). The theft is allegedly carried out through an illegal pipeline connecting to the trunk line through a pipeline abandoned by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and linked to a point in the high sea, where crude oil is loaded onto vessels and sold internationally.
Victims Vanguard plans legal action against NNPC and SPDC.
A group dedicated to fighting for the rights and compensation of victims of oil spills, health hazards of gas flaring and accountability in Nigeria’s extractive industry, the Oil Spillage Victims Vanguard, has reportedly threatened legal action against NNPC and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) over the illegal pipeline connections used to steal the country’s crude oil, following a report from an anonymous source claiming that oil companies, oil bunkers, NNPC, and security officials are jointly involved in crude oil theft.
Notably, the SPDC controls the operations of the Forcados Terminal at Ogulagha, which has a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day. Speaking to the media, Harrison Jalla, executive director of the victims’ Vanguard, said that although there have been several instances of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta, the surveillance company is most interested in the Forcados Terminal crude oil heist. He alleged that the firms indicated above had been hoarding national resources for the last nine years.
Crude oil theft is becoming rampant in the region.
Jalla asserts that the planned lawsuit against NNPC and SPDC would serve as a deterrent to others involved in illegal activity in the region. Starting with the Shell Group in charge of the terminal. It was gathered that the oil bunkers usually ferry crude oil to the sea for loading and onward movement abroad through the abandoned NAOC pipeline. He gives the two organizations an ultimatum, stating that they should open up to the court about everything they know about the massive oil heists since 2003.
The Vanguard of Victims is dedicated to reiterating its goal by holding the NNPC and SPDC responsible for the oil theft and atrocities perpetrated against the people of the Niger Delta. Although it is unclear whether other regions where pipelines cross over the region are also affected, Jalla claims that crude oil hoarding is becoming more rampant in the Niger Delta region and that numerous foreign oil companies will have to account for this felony.
Significant achievements of the surveillance company.
Earlier this month, the security company in collaboration with authorities, discovered 58 illegal oil pipelines in Delta and Bayelsa States where crude oil was being tapped. This accomplishment took place barely two months after the security company was awarded the multi billion naira oil security contract in the Niger Delta region. The action is geared towards reducing the menace caused to the state to a bare minimum. Additionally, surveillance operations have so far discovered 16 trans-Ramos/Forcados pipeline breaches at Yokri Egbe, Delta State.