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Imo Deadly Oil Field Attack: Indigenous Oil Firm, Anotech Suffers N500m Losses, Calls For Probe

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Indigenous oil company Anotech has incurred a loss of N500 million due to purported deliberate acts of arson at its oil fields in Imo State allegedly by suspected hoodlums.

Suspected criminals targeted the site of OML 16, which is operated by Sterling Global Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Advance Oil Production Systems Ltd (AOPSL)/NNPCL Joint Venture, located in the Ochia-Awara/Assa community.

According to reliable police sources, the incident specifically occurred at the premises of Anotech Global Company Nigeria Limited, a local company specializing in the construction and installation of oil and gas pipelines and facilities.

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Anotech is currently responsible for a 23km pipeline installation project that spans several communities in Imo State, including Obitti, Ochia, Awala, Assa, Obile Ana, and Ada Palm.

The source disclosed that during the attack on Anotech’s site, various equipment was set on fire, including an excavator, a self-loader truck, multiple 150kva electric generators, more than 20 welding machines, cables, and grinding machines of different sizes, as well as a welding tent.

The items are valued at over N500m.

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Narrating the ordeal in a statement issued by Anotech’s Site Manager, Mr. Patrick Egwuatu, on Wednesday, he said the unknown invaders wilfully set the company’s facilities ablaze.

Egwuatu said the incident had been reported to the representatives of the client, Sterling Global Nigeria Limited, leadership of the host communities and Imo State Police Command.

He added that carcass of the burnt oil equipment littered Assa work site of Anotech.

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In the statement titled, “Incident Report On The Fire Outbreak On The AOPSL 18” Row Assa Site, Egwuatu, said, “At 7:22pm this evening, 31st August 2023, I received a phone call from one of our site night security men, Mr. Abuchi Elelu, who informed me that our selfloader vehicle with 2 nos. 150KVA generators powering about 10nos inverter welding machines, 2nos tool boxes, many grinding machines, many consumables such as electrodes and welding cables etc were on fire.”

“He said that he doesn’t know how the fire started. That it was very sudden. That he and the 3 other security men went into hiding in the bush as they were not sure if the perpetrator/s are armed.

“Judging from the position of the equipment, one can estimate that the incident took place at about 1.150km [100 pipe lengths] from Ochia-Awara/Assa Community.

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“After receiving the news, I called my colleagues and informed them about the incident. I called my base office and informed them. I also notified the site client reps Mr. Ernest and Mr. Vishal. I also informed the Assa PG.”

Mr. Patrick Egwuatu. Site manager.
My appeal to the law enforcement agencies to carryout a thorough investigation with the view to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.”

To this end, Egwuatu appealed to the law enforcement agencies, especially the Imo State police command to carryout a thorough investigation into the incident with a view to apprehending and bringing the arsonists to justice.

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Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, Mr. Stephen Olanrewaju, could not be reached for his comment but competent sources in the command said investigation has begun into the incident.

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