The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, has asked for the detention of Vessel Barumk Gas for illegally lifting Butane at Bonny River Terminal.
The Authority in a letter to the Chief of Defence Staff dated 8th June 2023, signed by the Chief Executive, Engr. Farouk Ahmed accused oil giant ExxonMobil of collaborating with the vessel owners to engage in oil theft and economic sabotage.
The letter, titled “Economic sabotage, criminal damage and theft through illegal petroleum lifting operations at Bonny River Terminal”, a copy of which was sighted yesterday, said the lock placed on the facility by NMDPRA was broken by the oil company to enable the illegal act.
The letter read: “The urgent attention of the Chief of Defence Staff is drawn to the illegal petroleum lifting operations taking place at Bonny River Terminal.
“The vessel Barumk Gas is lifting Butane at Bonny River Terminal without the authorisation or participation of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority which is the agency of Government statutorily responsible for regulating operations at the Terminal.
“This unlawful action is being facilitated with the active connivance of ExxonMobil 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”.