13th July, 2011
The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Wednesday debunked insinuation of possible explosion at the oil leak site near Diamond Estate, Isheri-Olofin along the Igando/Iba expressway in Lagos State owing to a reported deterioration of the situation.
Speaking during a session with journalists in Abuja, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma informed that the services of a renowned environmental consultant from a leading Nigerian university has since been contracted to commence a thorough evaluation of the sub-surface condition of the site preparatory to the final remediation exercise.
He stated that findings indicate a massive seepage of hydrocarbon into the acquiver, occurring over the years due to past pipeline vandalism, explaining that with the heavy rains in Lagos, the water table has risen hence the estate is experiencing another recurrence of well contamination.
The NNPC spokesman, however, reiterated that the integrity of its Atlas Cove-Mosimi products pipeline which passes through Isheri Idimu and tees off to Satellite Depot remains intact.
He informed that when the initial report of hydrocarbon seepage and contamination of boreholes was made last year, the PPMC replaced multiple segments of piping around the area stretching about 10 km to repair all vandalised points on the pipeline.
“Since the advent of this unfortunate incident the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr. Austen Oniwon has left nothing to chance because at the corporation safety is our watch word. As you know, we have been working in concert with residents of the estate to seek and implement lasting remedy to the situation. We are sinking boreholes in the interim and all we want from residents is to give our experts access to the premises to allow for proper work,â€™â€™ Ajuonuma stated.
He noted that only two households and wells were affected and the occupants have since been relocated for safety reasons at NNPC cost.
The NNPC spokesman also stated that a high powered NNPC/PPMC delegation is billed to visit the oil leak site this weekend.
Ajuonuma regretted the inconveniences the unfortunate incident may have caused the residents of the estate and assured them of expeditious respite.
In March this year a combined team of pipeline engineers and safety/environment experts from the NNPC and the PPMC successfully scooped substantial quantities of premium motor spirit from the Diamond Estate leak site.
The NNPC/PPMC team had moved into the area early in good time to avert a possible environmental tragedy following report by the residents that water from their wells and boreholes have been polluted with huge volume of PMS.
Apart from engineers and technicians, the technical team also comprised ambulance with the full complement of a medical crew made up of doctors, nurses and paramedics, and state-of-the art fire trucks manned by trained fire fighters â€“safety officers from the Corporationâ€™s Safety Department.
Based on the preliminary findings it was deemed necessary to assist the Estate Residents with access to potable water.
The NNPC immediately awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of existing but non functional two giant boreholes systems in the estate.
The project was awarded directly to the Estate Management nominated contractor who had since mobilised to site.