A gas pipeline belonging to Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Limited, formerly known as Nigerian Gas Company has been shutdown over gas explosion in Ikpokpo Community, Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
BigPen Online learnt that the gas explosion which occurred over the weekend prompted the shutdown of the line, owing to the leakage from the ruptured point.
This is the second time an explosion is rocking the NGC pipeline in the area this year. The first explosion in same gas pipeline which shook the foundation of community happened 25, August, 2017 within the same environment.
Our source disclosed that gas leakage was noticed from the spot in the early hours of Saturday, 2 December, 2017.
“There was massive emission of gas into the environment throughout the weekend before the line was shut down by the Company”, our source said.
Meanwhile, a representative of the affected communities, Comrade Edwin Odudu who later confirmed the fresh gas explosion expressed concern over the insensitivity of the oil company to people of the area.
According to him, after the earliest explosion NGC have failed to signed relevant forms of joint investigation visit report which attest to fact that the leakage was as a result of equipment failure and not third party sabotage.
He said despite meeting with NOSDRA officials and community representatives, the company carried out the repairs of the leaked gas pipeline with through military intimidation without carrying out a joint investigation visit to ascertain the cause of the explosion.
“Even when a joint investigation visit was carried out, officials of the Nigerian Gas Company arrogantly refused to sign the relevant JIV forms”, he added.
The affected Gbaramatu Kingdom communities namely Ikpokpo, Okpele-Ama, Otogbene, Atanba and Opuedebubor Communities have appealed to President Buhari, the Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, the Senate and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Baru to come to their rescue to avoid the effect of the explosion.
“The residents of the communities are now living in fear of imminent fire outbreak from the gas explosion with the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation company not showing any concern over the plight of the affected communities”, the community leader said.
An industry source who didn’t want his name mentioned however told BigPen Online in a telephone conversation that the alleged explosion was not known to the company, saying if there was an explosion the community would have reported it.
However, according to the source, there was a minor leakage in the pipeline which forced the company to shutdown the line.