Suspected vandals have blown up the 24″ Ogboinbiri/Obiafu-Obrikom (OB-OB) gas pipeline of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Azikoro community, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.
The incident has reportedly cut Nigeria’s gas export feed to the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) by five million Standard Cubic Meters per day (MMSCM/d).
Residents near the explosion site said they heard sounds of the explosion on Tuesday morning, September 20, 2022, in the area and saw small batteries and wires suspected to be used by the suspected vandals to detonate an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Idris Musa, confirmed the pipeline blast on Wednesday.
He said the gas line which evacuates an average of five (5) MMSCM/d was reported to the agency in the early hours of Tuesday.
Musa said that following the report, a team of officials comprising the Secretary of Azikoro community, Bayelsa Commissioner for Mineral Resources and representatives of NOSDRA, visited the incident site at 9:00 am on Wednesday.
He explained that an explosion was also reported to the agency by the Azikoro community at 11.38 am and subsequently, NOAC, the owners of the facility, was promptly notified of the incident.
“Due to high pressures, NAOC was directed by NOSDRA to depressurize the facility preparatory to a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) which will follow immediately to ascertain the cause and extent of the incident,” Musa said.
“NAOC is already at the incident site with the agency, among other stakeholders, working to contain the explosion and secure the incident’s site preparatory to JIV and other remedial measures.”
He assured the people that NOSDRA would conduct the investigations in a transparent manner promising that the agency’s findings would be made public in due course.