A gas pipeline owned by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company exploded in the Obagi community within the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State on Wednesday, 17th January, 2024. Despite After the explosion, there were no reported casualties.
However, the blast resulted in significant damage to the local flora, prompting panic in the area. Vincent Job, the Chairman of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, confirmed the occurrence and attributed it to potential equipment failure, noting the need for modernizing aging oil field infrastructure.
While assessing the situation, Job revealed that he personally visited the site and interacted with the locals, who speculated on equipment failure. He highlighted recent incidents, including a crude oil explosion at Omoku West and another at Obagi, underscoring the imperative for the Federal Government and International Oil Companies to prioritize the maintenance and update of pipelines and facilities.
Job stressed the impact on the community, urging vigilance in addressing environmental concerns arising from such incidents.
The traditional ruler of the community, Eze Elemele, disclosed that a gas leak had been observed since mid-2023. Despite written inquiries to Agip and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, both entities initially denied ownership of the facility.
However, following the explosion, Agip has now acknowledged its responsibility. The community residents expressed dismay over perceived neglect by the oil and gas firm, accusing it of failing to conduct a proper Environmental Impact Assessment before siting the pipeline.
This incident follows a similar occurrence in Omoku West, further emphasizing the need for comprehensive safety measures in the region.
IMAGE: Premium times