Nigeria destroys 600 illegal oil refineries

Nigeria's military has destroyed about 600 illegal oil refineries in the Niger Delta and arrested seven oil thieves, the military said on Tuesday.

Nigeria destroys 600 illegal oil refineries

Nigeria's military has destroyed about 600 illegal oil refineries in the Niger Delta and arrested seven oil thieves, the military said on Tuesday.

Details of the refineries were not immediately available, but industry officials said they could be makeshift structures where oil thieves distil crude into fuel for sale in Nigeria, which experiences frequent disruptions in gasoline supplies.

Major General Sarkin-Yaki Bello, commander of the joint military task force (JTF) in charge of security in the heartland of Africa's top energy industry, said the refineries in Rivers state were destroyed between October and mid-December.

He said intelligence sources indicated that about 1,000 such refineries were operating in the area.

"Ignoring or patronising them means supporting the destruction of the Nigerian economy," Bello told reporters at a news conference in Yenegoa, capital of the nearby Bayelsa state.

Twenty-eight drums of illegally refined and adulterated products, 27 empty jerry cans and two steel funnels were among items recovered from some of the destroyed plants, Bello said. Seven people caught siphoning crude from a damaged oil well-head were arrested along with six motorcycles.



Reuters

Last Mod: 16 Aralık 2009, 15:50
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