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Nigerian Air Force Strikes Target Over 30 Illegal Oil Refining Sites in Rivers

In the past two months, the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe has successfully obliterated more than 30 illegal oil refining sites in operations conducted around Cawthorne Channel and Bille, situated in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State. This commendable effort was confirmed by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Director of Public Relations and Information for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), in a statement released on Sunday from Abuja.

The primary objective of these air strikes has been to intensify actions aimed at thwarting the activities of oil thieves and operators of illegal oil refining sites. Simultaneously, they seek to prevent pipeline bursts, disrupt the operation of illegal oil refineries, and minimize environmental damage in the affected areas.

On Friday, an air strike operation at Cawthorne Channel resulted in the destruction of four active illegal refining sites, including dug-out reservoirs and surface storage tanks believed to contain illicitly refined petroleum products. Similarly, over the weekend, further strikes were conducted at Bille, where three illegal oil refining sites were dismantled, along with their storage tanks and reservoirs.

Of particular significance was the engagement and destruction of a Cotonou boat suspected of siphoning crude oil from a flow station at one of the sites.

Over the last two months, Cawthorne Channel and Bille have emerged as hotspots for oil theft and illegal oil refining activities within Rivers State. To date, the Land, Maritime, and Air Components of Operation Delta Safe have jointly eliminated more than 30 illegal oil refining sites in these two areas alone.

The statement reaffirms the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force and its partners to maintain a sustained effort in these locations and beyond until oil thieves and their collaborators cease their unlawful operations.


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