A combined team of pipeline engineers and safety/environment experts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, have successfully drained over 450,000 litres of premium motor spirit from an oil leak site at Isheri Olofin along the Iyana Iba-Igando expressway in Lagos.
The quantity of the evacuated petroleum product which also contain some amount of water is the equivalent of over 13 standard trucks of PMS.
The NNPC/PPMC team had moved into the area early last month to avert a possible environmental tragedy following report by residents of nearby Diamond Estate that water from their wells and boreholes have been polluted with huge volume of PMS.
Speaking at the end of an on the spot assessment exercise by a high level NNPC/PPMC Management team, Prince Haruna Momoh, the newly appointed Managing Director of PPMC informed that the Corporation is determined to avert any tragic incident arising from the unfortunate development.
“Our priority is safety. That is why the Group Managing Director of the NNPC dispatched this top Management team to undertake a firsthand appraisal of work progress. I am happy we have a competent technical team that is capable and well equipped to arrest the situation as quickly as possible,” Momoh said.
Apart from engineers and technicians, the technical team also has on ground an ambulance with the full complement of a medical crew made up of doctors, nurses and paramedics, and state-of-the art fire trucks manned by trained fire fighters –safety officers from the Corporation’s Safety Department.
Already residents of Diamond Estate have given the NNPC/PPMC technical team the permission to enter the premises and deploy vacuum trucks which would be used to suck the polluted water from their various wells through pipes into standby trailers.
The PPMC MD stated that while the evacuation exercise subsists the technical team is conducting a painstaking technical audit and inspection of the whole area to determine the root cause of the petrol leak.
“We don’t want to speculate, we want to allow the technical team to conduct a proper inquest but I know for sure that our pipelines are intact, I can vouch for the integrity of the pipelines,” he said.
Prince Momoh also raised the red flag on the incessant infringement on petroleum pipeline right of way through the erection of buildings, warning that such infraction portends danger to all concerned.
Before the visit to the Isheri-Olofin site, the NNPC/PPMC top Management team with the aid of helicopter embarked on an aerial survey of the petroleum products pipeline right of way stretching from the Atlas Cove –Isheri-Olofin through Akute in Ogun state to the Mosimi depot.
Shedding more light on the exercise, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs of the NNPC, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, informed that the Corporation has mobilised apt human and material resources to tackle the matter squarely.
“The NNPC Management is going full blast to tackle the situation. We have deployed a formidable team of pipeline engineers and technologist to crack the riddle while we carry on with the evacuation programme,” he said.
Ajuonuma also stated that once the technical team is through with the evacuation of the polluted wells, the next stage is to conduct a proper laboratory test on the wells and other sources of drinking water within the estate to ensure that the water is completely free from any trace of hydrocarbon.
Mr. Alaba Akinsulire, Facility Manager of Diamond estate pledged the commitment of residents to cooperate with the NNPC in this regard