The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), has written to the military high command, alleging illegal lifting of petroleum product by Exxon Mobil at Bonny River Terminal in Rivers State.
The letter, signed by the Authority’s Chief Executive, Mr Farouk Ahmed, and addressed to the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, was sighted in Abuja on Sunday.
The letter, with the title “Economic sabotage, criminal damage and theft through illegal petroleum lifting operations at Bonny River Terminal”, alleged that Exxon Mobil was lifting Butane at the terminal with the vessel, marked Barumk Gas without the authorization or participation of NMDPRA.
Ahmed, in the letter, stated that NMDPRA was the agency of Government statutorily responsible for regulating operations at the Terminal.
The letter reads in parts, “This unlawful action is being facilitated with the active connivance of Exxon Mobil who have illegally destroyed the locks on the sea-line valve whose keys are in the custody of the Authority.
“The actions of Exxon Mobil and Barumk Gas constitute economic sabotage, criminal damage and theft of Nigeria’s national resources.
“You are by this letter kindly requested to urgently prevent the sailing out of Barumk Gas until investigations into the matter are concluded.”
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and its private security contractors, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, have been collaborating with security agents to arrest those perpetuating oil theft in the country.
A number of them have so far been arrested and are being prosecuted.