Oil theft: Nembe Creek Trunkline Hardest Hit By Oil Thieves – TANTITA


TANTITA Security Services Limited has said the Nembe Creek Trunk Line playing host to Shell, AIteo, Eroton was one of the hardest hit trunkline in the dark history of crude oil theft.

The Nembe Creek trunkline runs from Brass in Bayelsa through the hostile hash terrains of Rivers State before terminating in Bonny.

Dr. Paul Bebenimibo, Tantita Media Consultant disclosed this before the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ (National) in Abuja, Nigeria.

Bebenimibo, a Mass Communication lecturer with Delta State University said, “The line was completely rendered useless and far more worse of it all was the fact that the Oil thieves took their war to the various Wellheads/Jackets/Platforms and courageously tie up their barges and boats, then start discharging the contents into their boats before privately engaging in the business of illegal export or local refining.”

Bebenimibo who represented High Chief (Dr.) Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo at the event presented the story of TANTITA Security Services Limited before the NUJ.

He noted that TANTITA Security firm was conceived and brought to light by Tompolo.

In his words, “it will bring to a common understanding the fact that a company he started from a position of near nothing to a story worth listening and learning from.”

Telling the TANTITA Security story, Bebenimibo said, “Sometime in between 2021 and 2022, the fall in hydrocarbon investments and production by International Oil Companies fell to an all time low.

“To be precise, production fell from an OPEC quota of 2.2million barrels per day to a mare 700,000 barrels per day due to nefarious factors, mischief in the industry, pipeline vandals, and crude Oil thieves operating without fear right under the nostrils of Government Security Forces positioned to protect the resources.

“The aforementioned activities created one of the most serious revenue losses in the history of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and brought untold hardship and pressure on the country’s foreign exchange earnings and indeed, foreign reserves.”

According to him, “Faced with this demon, the Federal Government had no choice but to seek the participation of Private Security firms with the expertise to protect the country’s Hydrocarbon Assets, so as to boost not only production, which were now under heavy and constant threat, with some operators recording zero production in some corridors, in addition, restore investor confidence in the sector.

“This led to the signing of the Crude Oil Pipeline Surveillance and Protection Contract on 9th August 2022 with the NNPCL (Nigerian National Petroleum Company Exploration and Production Limited.)

“In the indescribably dire situation, the first steps taken by the NNPCL (Nigerian National Petroleum Company Exploration and Production Limited), were for the Private Security firms engaged to be introduced the Corridor Operators such as Shell, Total, Agip, etc.

“We could tell from our first meetings that not only was mistrust heavily encrypted in the hearts of the Corridor Operators, there was a serious lack of confidence in the decision to take on and placing such a huge responsibility on mare Private Security firms.

“Shell for example, was operating at only 30% capacity on some of their lines and even zero at a time they had over 5000 soldiers embedded with them to protect their Hydrocarbon Assets and Production. In summary, these were difficult times for the Corridor Operators as they were producing mainly for the Pipeline Vandals and Crude Oil thieves.

“While the Trans Escravos Line was operating at its minimal best, other lines such as the Trans Forcados and Trans Ramos Lines were also at the mercy of those hellbent on making sure Nigeria neither produces nor exports any Crude Oil. Other injectors such as Heritage Energy had their Crude Oil stuck in storage facilities operating at maximum capacity so much that they couldn’t produce anymore, due to the fear that everything will be discharged into the collection points of would-be vandals lying in wait 24/7 and 365 days in a year.

“The Nigerian Agip Oil Company had literally shut down production in its land areas as the losses weren’t something to contain or contend with. From Akri in Delta State to Ebocha in Rivers State, Ebocha to Ogoda in Rivers State and Ogoda to Brass in Bayelsa State, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company couldn’t boast of One Litre, of Crude Oil arriving in the Brass Terminal for export.

“The Ognainbiri – Tebidaba line in Bayelsa State, was abandoned and the only possible way of getting Oil out to the export terminal was through barging whose quantities were unverifiable and open to manipulations.

“The Tuomo to Ognainbiri Condensate line also in Bayelsa State, was not spared in the vandals onslaught as it became a haven for thieves and community members strong enough to fetch and sell in various unofficial markets and outlets.

“Addax Oil whom till only recently, have been bought over by Antan Energy operating in the Izombe, Ezi-Ossu to Abacheke areas of IMO State, had their tanks laden with thousands of barrels of Crude Oil for over six years, with fear to pump for export as vandals lie in wait to collect it all before the Crude Oil, enters the export lines. In order words, they never exported for over six years.” He noted

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