In a recent operation, air strikes carried out by the air component of Operation Delta Safe successfully obliterated seven operational illegal oil refining sites located in Cawthorne Channel and Bille, both situated in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Additionally, the operations resulted in the destruction of storage tanks, reservoirs, and Cotonou boats suspected of illicitly siphoning crude oil from a flow station.

The Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, conveyed this information in a statement made available to defense correspondents in Abuja.

The statement detailed the operation, stating:

“Successful air strikes were conducted on Cawthorne Channel and Bille, both located in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, where seven illegal refining sites were identified and destroyed.

In Cawthorne Channel, on September 15, 2023, four active illegal refining sites with dug-out reservoirs and surface storage tanks, suspected to be containing illegal refined products, were sighted. Subsequently, the sites were destroyed.

Similar air strikes were also conducted at Bille on September 16 and in the early hours of September 17, 2023. There, three illegal oil refining sites with storage tanks and reservoirs were obliterated. At one of the sites, a Cotonou boat suspected of siphoning crude oil from a flow station was engaged and destroyed.

In the past two months, Cawthorne Channel and Bille have witnessed a surge in oil theft and illegal oil refining activities in Rivers State. During this period, the Land, Maritime, and Air Components of Operation Delta Safe have collectively destroyed over 30 illegal oil refining sites in these two locations.”