Marine Intelligence Consultant to TSSNL, Captain Warren Enisuoh, who briefed journalists in Ogulagha on the discovery, yesterday, said: “What has happened was that the perpetrators of this organized crime attached pipeline into a Shell Petroleum Development Company 48-inch export line. The crude in this line has been cleaned up and is ready to go.
“So, they tapped into it, the place was initially filled with water, but, technologically, there were able to connect their own pipe underwater.
“We trotted the line on foot to the point it was tapped, we had to create something on either side of the pipeline so that the water could be pumped out.
“For days, we pumped the water out before the illegality was exposed. You see that riser behind me is operated by another joint venture company called AGIP, so these fellows piped the crude through the abandoned oil field that belongs to AGIP, which they used to pipe crude oil to the Beniboye Flow Station.
“What happened is that instead of piping crude to Beniboye Flow Station, the oil bunkers export crude.
‘That particular jacket you see outside there is a very old one, they cut the Agip line, connected their own through the extreme riser out to that other jacket.
“Then at night, the usual thing happens, which is that they bring ships to that particular platform, connect their modernized lines to the ships, which they bring in, and off they go from there.
“Well, they are not smarter than Nigeria, NNPCL, Tantita. We discovered this about a week ago, and we had to employ a whole lot of machinery to be able to bring you (reporters) in to see it. It is not a yesterday thing.
“We knew about the platform and started working on it when we had the support of NNPCL and the government. Nigeria has suffered enough, we have to stop these illegalities.
“The distance from the illegality to the point we are standing is about one kilometre and from here to the jacket is approximately four kilometres.
“Therefore, what they do… because the whole line is a six-inch pipe, each time they pump, they open their own valve and the crude stored on this line; then, they close if off so that when their ships are sucking, you would not feel the effect from the pressure on the other side.
“Therefore, it is a smart design, I do not know how long. With the intelligence we have been getting about ships coming to that particular area, which led to this find, it has been going on for a while, more a year perhaps.
“We share our intelligence with the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta and Operation Delta Safe.”