Nigerian Army again discovers over 40 new illegal oil wells in Rumuekpe, in Rivers

Soldiers on duty on surveillance on the creeks and mangroves of the Niger Delta

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The 6 Division of the Nigerian Army has made a shocking discovery of over 40 illegal crude oil wells in Rumuekpe community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The Army discovered them while on a special operation tour

They were led by the General Officer Commanding, Nigerian Army 6 Division, General Jamal Abdusallam, on Wednesday, February 28.

Major General Abdusallam told Journalists that the illegal oil wells were approximately 40 feet deep.

The discovery, he noted, revealed that the criminally minded illegal oil thieves have adopted new tactics in siphoning crude oil from underground reserves and major crude oil trunk lines.

Major General Abdusallam said the discovery was significant in the fight against oil theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta.

On whether the oil wells would be destroyed by the army as the pattern was, Major General Abdussalam said the relevant authorities would first be notified about the discovery.

Abdussalam said for the time being, the army will deploy troops to prevent further exploitation of the area.

On the mode of operation by the oil thieves, General Abdussalam explained that the perpetrators excavate deep into the ground to access crude oil deposits directly.

He also expressed concerns over the danger posed by these activities to both the environment and the individuals involved.

The 6 Division Nigerian Army Commander said the suspects apprehended at the scene of the crime scene were currently in military custody to help with further investigations.

Our Correspondent reports that exactly a year ago, and precisely on March 3, 2023, there was an explosion in Rumuekpe Community inside Emohua Local Government Area at about 2 am on Friday, March 3 when one of the buses loading illegal crude oil rammed into another another truck under the covers of darkness leading to massive explosion.

The explosion and the fire that engulfed the crime scene led to the death of dozens including women who were burnt beyond recognition, including many other vehicles and tricycles burnt to ashes.

They were siphoning crude oil from the tapping point on the high-velocity Trans Niger Delta Pipeline (TNP) that passes through the community.