Crude oil Bunkering: How security operatives, govt officials run cartel

Oil Bunkering: How security operatives, govt officials run cartel

Latest investigative findings have uncovered how a sophisticated mafia of powerful Nigerians and foreigners run oil bunkering.

The cartel includes top military operators, government officials, highly-placed and retired oil industry personnel, politicians and  business persons who are the big-time crude oil thieves and financiers of bunkering syndicates, which over the years have to suck the life out of the country’s economy.

THECONSCIENCEng gathered that the crude oil bunkering cartel working with insiders steal crude directly from major crude oil pipelines in the Niger Delta, while officials pump crude to the different Terminals. They know the time and duration of pumping and exact pipelines.

The damage inflicted by small-time crude oil bunkers in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and other states, who illegitimately refine crude oil in the Niger-Delta region is a child’s play compared to the havoc the connected cartel that owns giant vessels and equipment wreak on the economy.

There are local thieves who also siphon from major pipelines and later sell their product to the big players, who use superior tubes and experts to drain off crude oil.

The biggest advantage of the cartel is that they have security operatives that provide security on the instruction of top officers for vessels laden with stolen crude oil, which sail outside the country’s waters to ready buyers with foreign collaborators

Crude oil Bunkering: How security operatives, govt officials run cartel

Every security officer involved in the business is well ‘taken care of’ and so, secrecy is maintained. Security operatives who mount sentry on waterways also collect levy from small–time bunkerers and many want to serve in such lucrative beat. They also make returns to superior officers.

An informed source hinted that at least 80 per cent of the crude oil being pumped to the oil terminals in the country ends up with big-time oil thieves.

”If you pump 239,000 barrels of crude oil into either of the Trans-Niger Pipeline or the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (these are some of the major pipelines that convey crude oil to the terminals for export), they will receive 3,000 barrels. It got to a point where it was no longer economically sustainable to pump crude into the lines and a force majeure was declared,” he stated.