Home Top Stories Gas Explosion: Bayelsa Community Writes NNPC over Alleged Negligence, Concealment By Aiteo

Gas Explosion: Bayelsa Community Writes NNPC over Alleged Negligence, Concealment By Aiteo

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Abuja (Sundiata Post)-  The Nembe Chiefs Council of Nembe Communities of Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has sent a protest letter to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) over the alleged gross negligence and concealment of the Aiteo Exploration company operator of the 97 kilometer Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) that exploded at the early hours of Saturday, displacing scores of indigenes.

The Nembe Chiefs Council, through its spokesperson, Chief Nengi James Eriworio, alleged that the refusal of the Oil exploration company to inform the monitoring authority of NOSDRA and other relevant agencies for verification and necessary action within two hours of occurrence is an alleged case of concealment.

Chief Nengi James Eriworio, in the statement, stated that “On behalf of Nembe Chiefs Council, I wish to call on NNPC to sanction Aiteo Company for concealing a high level of leakage and a Gas explosion at their Facility at Nembe Creek.

It is an offence by law for an Oil Producing Company not to such an aforesaid incident to NOSDRA and other relevant agencies for verification and necessary action” “As a Community (Kingdom), we will not take it kindly for exposing our indigenes to Environmental and health danger.We will not hesitate to call for the revocation of Aiteo license.What happened at Nembe Creek near Well 7,  is unacceptable and seen as a gross abuse of Environmental rules and regulations.

We urge the Director General of NOSDRA and others to visit the site of the Incident for confirmation and for the record.” Meanwhile the management of the Aiteo Exploration Ltd, operator of the 97 kilometer Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL),in a reaction to the gas explosion  on its crude export pipeline, said that the resulting fire from the explosion which burned till Saturday has been put out and no loss of life was recorded.

The incident on NCTL with a capacity of conveying 150,000 barrels of crude daily to the Bonny oil export terminal will adversely affect crude export haven been put out of use. A Public Relations Manager of Aiteo, Mr Ndiana-Abasi Mathew confirmed the incident in a Short Message on Saturday, said “There is no official statement at the moment but I can can gladly inform you that the fire has been contained and no lives were lost,”

It will be learnt that the oil export line was shut for emergency repairs following a leak when the incident occurred and discharged residual crude and gas trapped in the pipeline. It will be recalled that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 2015 divested its equity in OML 29 and transferred its interest in NCTL for $1.7 bn to Aiteo, an indigenous Oil and Gas Exploration and Production firm Community sources at Nembe in Bayelsa have bemoaned negative impact of the explosion saying that the incident led to both gas leakage and oil spill compelling them to flee.

Spokesman of the Nembe Chiefs Council, Chief Nengi James–Eriworio, who confirmed the development, noted the explosion caused massive destruction of the area with air and water heavily polluted. “People have deserted the area and the company has refused to respond despite series of emergency calls to report the incident to them “As at early morning of Saturday, the fire is still raging. And with gas and crude leak flowing freely you can then imaging the fate of our people.

“The poor response of Aiteo to this incident is not acceptable and questionable. The people are traumatized and their health put at risk “James-Eriworio said. Accoring to him, oil leak from the line had covered the surface of the nearby river, making it unsafe for navigation and artisanal fishing vocation of the people James-Eriworio also appealed to the Federal Government and oil industry regulatory agencies to intervene and investigate and respond to salvage the people.

 “We are concerned that Aiteo, despite the clandestine acquisition of the asset from SPDC without due consultation with the people has continued to undermine the economic rights of the people.. “We are worried about the poor incident response and attitude of the company towards the host communities in Nembe.

“They have abused the rights of the people. We are ready to drag the company before the National Assembly and the Presidency,” James-Eriworio, said. The explosion, which occurred at about 4am on Friday near Oil Well 7 on Friday, sacked indigenes of the affected communities.. The Nembe communities affected include Nembe creek 1, 2 and 3, Jalungo,Fatuo and Kalablomi in Nembe Local Government of Bayelsa.. 

Souce: Leadership

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