Over the past two months, the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has obliterated more than 30 illegal oil refining sites in the vicinity of Cawthorne Channel and Bille, located in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
This campaign aims to thwart oil thieves and those operating unauthorized oil refining sites, preventing pipeline breaches and environmental damage.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Director of Public Relations and Information at NAF, revealed these developments in a statement released on Sunday, September 17, 2023, in Abuja.
The airstrikes, which targeted Cawthorne Channel, destroyed four active illegal refining sites, complete with excavated reservoirs and surface storage tanks suspected of holding illegal refined products.
Additional airstrikes were conducted in Bille on Saturday and the early hours of Sunday, resulting in the destruction of three illegal oil refining sites, including storage tanks and reservoirs.
Gabkwet also mentioned the engagement and destruction of a Cotonou boat suspected of siphoning crude oil from a flow station at one of the sites. Cawthorne Channel and Bille have been significant hotspots for oil theft and illegal refining activities in Rivers State over the past two months.
During this period, more than 30 illegal oil refining sites in these locations have been eradicated by the Land, Maritime, and Air Components of Operation Delta Safe.
The statement concludes by emphasizing the commitment to maintain these efforts in these areas and others until oil thieves and their collaborators cease their illegal activities.