News

May 22, 2024

Senate probes massive gas explosion in Bayelsa

[Video] Details: Revelation on some Senators getting ‘N500m’ each tears Senate apart

Senate setting

By Henry Umoru

The Senate has begun probe into the recent massive explosion close to Gbarian-Ubie Gas Processing Facility in Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State and pollution of the environment.

Consequently, the Senate has mandated its Chairmen and Vice Chairman of its Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Downstream, Gas, Niger Delta Affairs, Health and Environment to Carry out a holistic investigation into the ugly incident.

The Senate has called on the federal government to adopt measures for the protection of the environment from further degradation as well as for the enhanced protection of this and other national economic assets for the purpose of preventing the recurrence of this kind of threat.

The Upper Chamber has also called on the Federal government and the operator of the pipeline to provide medical assistance and relief materials to the people affected by this pollution and shock.

Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion tiled, “Massive explosion close to Gbarian-Ubie Gas Processing Facility in Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State and pollution of the environment: The need for urgent action.” It was sponsored by Senator Senator Benson Konbowei, PDP, Bayelsa Central.


In his presentation, Senator Benson Konbowei informed the Senate that the Gbarain-Ubie Gas Processing facility is one of the most valuable gas projects in Nigeria having cost multiples of billions of US Dollars to build, and processing about two billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.

According to him, the facility supplies gas to the Bonny Terminal for export and is a big source of foreign exchange earnings for the country as well as an important employer of labour.

The lawmaker expressed concerns over the huge explosions from a crude oil pipeline on Tuesday, 14th May, 2024 which led to an inferno in the vicinity of the gas facility, adding that the explosions caused widespread panic among residents of the community where the explosion occurred.

Senator Benson Konbowei said, “Whereas the Gbarain-Ubie Gas Processing facility is one of the most valuable gas projects in Nigeria having cost multiples of billions of US Dollars to build, and processing about 2 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day;

“Aware that the facility supplies gas to the Bonny Terminal for export and is a big source of foreign exchange earnings for our country as well as an important employer of labour;

“Alarmed that there were huge explosions from a crude oil pipeline on Tuesday the 14th of May, resulting in an inferno in the vicinity of the gas facility, and this constituted a threat to the safety of the facility, which is a precious national economic asset;

“Observes that the explosions caused widespread panic among residents of the community where the explosion occurred;

“Concerned that this inferno resulted in the pumping of huge volumes of poisonous gaseous substances into the atmosphere resulting in massive pollution of the environment, with adverse impact on the health of the people within the vicinity;

“Concerned also that the air in the vicinity has been heavily impregnated with impurities, which can cause difficulty in breathing, damage to the lungs and high risk for asthma patients; Worried that the cause of the explosions is unknown, creating an atmosphere of suspense and uncertainty.”

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio who described the explosion as a very worrisome situation, said, “First of all, the facility brings foreign exchange to Nigeria.

However the explosion that occurred on 14th of May, 2024 caused panic as the gasses being spewed out of the pipeline and the attendant pollution can cause or aggravate asthmatic conditions.

“The good news is that the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is a corrective rejime. We will bring this incident to the attention of the President and we believe the government will take necessary steps to ameliorate the situation and the relevant government agencies will put in place appropriate measures to prevent future occurrence.”