Military Uncovers 40 Crude Oil Wells Used by Oil Thieves

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In a significant stride against illegal oil bunkering and theft, troops of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, uncovered more than 40 dugout crude oil wells in Rumuekpe community, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The discovery came during a sweep-and-clear operation on the Trans Niger Delta Pipeline led by Major General Jamal Abdussalam, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division.

Following the operation, Abdussalam revealed to journalists that these oil wells, approximately 40 feet deep, represented a new tactic employed by criminals to steal crude oil from underground deposits.

Describing the find as an eye-opener, Abdussalam explained that miscreants had devised a method of digging deep into the ground until they reached the crude oil reservoirs directly.

Expressing concern over the discovery, Abdussalam emphasized the gravity of the situation, noting the hazards posed by the illicit activity. He stated that troops would be permanently stationed at the site to prevent further illegal operations.

Furthermore, some suspects apprehended at the scene are currently in military custody, with investigations ongoing.

One of the suspects confessed to the crime, revealing that the wells belonged to different families in the community. He disclosed the perilous nature of the work, citing instances where diggers suffocated due to gas inhalation during the excavation process.

The suspect also outlined the modus operandi, indicating that diggers were paid approximately N40,000 to excavate a well of about 15 feet, emphasizing the communal ownership of the wells and the risks involved in the operation.

The military reiterated its commitment to eradicating such criminal activities, pledging to work tirelessly until the area is rid of these illicit practices.

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