Nigeria intercepts stolen crude, to destroy it
Nigeria’s state-owned oil firm, NNPC Ltd, said on Monday an 800,000-litre (211,338-U.S. gallon) vessel carrying stolen crude had been intercepted offshore while heading to Cameroon and would be destroyed as a deterrent to oil theft.
Crude theft from pipelines and wells in the Niger Delta has hobbled the country’s output in recent years and is one of the biggest challenges to confront new President Bola Tinubu.
NNPC said the oil was stolen from a well in south western Ondo state. The MT Tura II vessel was owned by locally registered Holab Maritime Services Limited and had no valid documentation for the oil, the company said.
Holab could not be reached for comment on numbers listed on its website.
“Destroying vessels involved in transporting stolen crude oil is of paramount importance as a strong deterrent,” NNPC said.
NNPC circulated a video showing the vessel surrounded by armed Nigerian security agents.
Some Nigerians have however asked why the destruction rather than returning the stolen oil to the state.
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