Troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta yesterday said they averted 1,291 attacks on three crude export pipelines from January 2019 to date.
The former JTF Commander, Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade (rtd), disclosed this while handing over to the new Commander, Rear Admiral Aminu Hassan, in Yenegoa. Akinrinade said a total of 1,603 sabotage incidents were reported on the export trunk lines under his watch in the last two years.
The pipelines, Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP) and Trans Escravos Pipelines (TEP) are operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Akinrinade, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), explained that the joint force achieved the feat through kinetic and non-kinetic operations which created a conducive environment for the oil and gas industry which was the key mandate of the outfit.
He said: “For instance, from January 2019 to date, the JTF averted 1,291 out of 1,603 of the attempted infractions on SPDC major export lines – Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP) and Trans Escravos Pipelines (TEP).
“The number of aversions accounts for 85 per cent of the total attempts. “These efforts have ensured that major export pipelines, marginal and infield lines are 97 per cent available and functional which facilitate the evacuation of crude oil and gas to designated export terminals.
“The force demobilised about 2,859 illegally refinery sites, over 4,812 storage facilities, 905 Cotonou boats and other illegal bunkering ancillaries. “Also, more than 681 suspected oil thieves, 38 vessels, 44 barges, 38 trucks and other vehicles were also arrested and impounded.
“Additionally, about 51,078.32MT of stolen crude oil and 57,114.146MT of illegally refined products were handled appropriately.” Akinrinade added that the JTF demobilised 297 militant camps and recovered about 121 assorted weapons.
The task force, he said, also amicably resolved about 158 Corporate Social Responsibility-related disputes involving oil firms notably SEEPCO, SPDC, AITEO, NECONDE and NAOC with their host communities.
The former commander, in a farewell interaction with troops, advised them to be committed to duty and aspire to serve the country with an unblemished record. Speaking shortly after taking over, the new Commander, Hassan, lauded Akinrinade, who he described as his mentor.
The commander promised to strive to sustain the tempo already achieved