The collaboration between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), federal security agencies, and Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, owned by Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo, has again led to the seizure of a 1,000-tonne barge half-filled with stolen crude oil.
This is coming as the Deputy Managing Director, Deepwater Asset, TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI), Victor Bandele, has expressed appreciation to the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, over his intervention that unlocked 30,000 barrels per day of new oil from the Egina and Akpo fields expected before the end of 2023.
Executive Director, Operations and Technical, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, Capt. Warredi Enisuoh, who took journalists to the location of the impounded vessel in the waterways of the Niger Delta yesterday, stated that some service providers were using their licences to perpetrate illegalities.
Warredi stated that after weeks of surveillance, Mawe Services Limited was found to be using its licence as a sludge lifter to ship illegal crude in the vessel identified as FP Amangwu.
He explained that although Mawe Services Limited has an approval from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to provide services within the confines of lifting sludge, it was allegedly involved in crude oil theft.
“However, on this fateful voyage, intelligence reports received two weeks ago by Tantita Security Services Nigeria Ltd and Mason Engineering indicated that the location was being used for activities outside its approval limits.
“Further intelligence also revealed that a 1,000-metric ton capacity barge was coming to berth alongside its jetty, loaded with illegal crude oil declared as sludge.
“The barge was towed by an unknown Tugboat into Mawe Services Limited’s Jetty and left. A team of Tantita Security Services operatives continued to monitor the Jetty for suspicious activities. It was observed that a sewage truck with Plate No. JR7750XA visited the Jetty twice,” he explained.
According to the pipeline surveillance company, during its third visit on May 12, 2023, the truck was accosted by the Tantita Security personnel who were keeping a constant vigil on the area.
“Upon inspection, the substance found inside the tank was not sewage, rather it was crude oil. The driver was arrested and handed over to government security operatives,” Enisuoh said.
He explained that the driver later revealed the destination of the contents, which took its personnel to another yard inland, also operated by Mawe Services Limited.
“Within the Mawe Services Limited’s premises, there were two metallic cylindrical tanks of about 45,000 litres capacity, each. Both tanks were inspected and one was found to be filled up with crude oil. The driver of the truck confirmed that he has been transferring the contents of the barge into the tank that was filled.
“An inspection of the yard’s security logbook showed that the truck visited the location severally and the contents of the truck were well spelt out as crude oil,” he added.