By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA —National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, has confirmed the blast on the 24″ Ogboinbiri/OB-OB gas pipeline at Azikoro community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The gas export feed to the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas, NLNG, it was learned, has been cut by five million standard cubic metres per day (MMSCM/d) following the incident.
Residents said they heard a loud bang in the early hours of Tuesday before gas started leaking from the pipeline.
Also, small batteries and wires suspected to have been used by suspected vandals to detonate Improvised Explosive Device were allegedly found near the scene.
According to a source, the gas line, which evacuates an average of five MMSCM/d was reported to NOSDRA in the early hours of Tuesday.
The source added that the facility, operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, was vandalised thrice in April 2022.
Director-General/CEO, NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, confirmed the pipeline blast, yesterday.
Musa said following the notification, a team of officials comprising Secretary of Azikoro community, Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Bayelsa, and representatives of NOSDRA, visited the incident site yesterday at 9am.
He explained that an explosion was also reported to the agency by the Azikoro community at 11.38 am and subsequently, NOAC, the operators of the facility, was promptly notified of the incident.
“Due to high pressure, NAOC was directed by NOSDRA to depressurize the facility preparatory for a Joint Investigation Visit, JIV, which will follow immediately to ascertain the cause and extent of the incident.
“NAOC is already at the incident site, with the agency among other stakeholders working to contain the explosion and secure the incident site preparatory to JIV and other remedial measures,” Musa said.
He assured that NOSDRA would conduct the investigations in a transparent manner and pledged that its findings would be made public in due course.