The Nigerian Air Force, working as part of Operation Delta Safe, has in the last two months, destroyed over 30 illegal oil refining sites through air strikes around Cawthorne Channel and Bille, in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The spokesperson for the Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Gabkwet said the air strikes ramped up efforts at denying oil thieves and operators of illegal oil refining sites the opportunity to burst oil pipelines.
He said the air strikes conducted at Cawthorne Channel, on Friday, destroyed four active illegal refining sites with dug-out reservoirs and surface storage tanks suspected to contain illegal refined products.
According to him, similar air strikes were also conducted at Bille on Saturday and early hours of Sunday which destroyed three illegal oil refining sites with storage tanks and reservoirs.
“In one of the sites, a Cotonou boat suspected to be siphoning crude oil from a flow station was engaged in several passes and destroyed.
“In the last two months, Cawthorne Channel and Bille have accounted for the majority of oil theft and illegal oil refining activities in Rivers State.
“Within this period, over 30 illegal oil refining sites in these two locations have been destroyed by the Land, Maritime and Air Components of Operation Delta Safe.
“These efforts will be sustained in these locations and others until oil thieves and their accomplices desist from their illegal activities,” the statement added.