Explosion Rocks Agip Facility In Bayelsa

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The Obama flow line at Okoroma-Terekein Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa was rocked by an explosion on Sunday.

The explosion at the facility, owned by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), triggered pandemonium in the sleepy Okoroma-Tereke community.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the immediate cause of the explosion could not be ascertained but a source said it caused minor damage to the facility that supplies crude through Obama to the Brass AGIP terminal.

In an e-mail forwarded to some newsmen over the incident, the Italian energy group, Eni, said the company had moved in some personnel to effect repairs on the damaged part of the flow station.

According to it, “Eni does not plan to introduce any force majeure on its oil export after the small incident at the pipeline, which is part of the Obama-Brass line.”

The statement further noted that “it is a very small incident. No force majeure is expected. Works to repair the damage will be completed in the next few hours.’’

However sources from the area said the pipeline had been leaking oil into the creeks.

When contacted, the Bayelsa police spokesman, ASP Eguaveon Emokpai, said he had yet to receive any formal report on the incident.

Meanwhile, oil workers at the Qua Iboe crude export terminal operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria have expressed concern for their safety following last week’s attack on the facility.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the workers appealed to the security agencies to beef up security to ensure uninterrupted oil production.

“The place of oil in our economy is central and the Federal Government should use its might to protect its investment in the sector.

“This is because once there is any disruption, it will be difficult for the government to meet its revenue target from the oil sector,” Peter Oduok, an engineer at the terminal, said.

The attack, according to a statement from the firm, led to the abduction of a worker and left a security man injured.

NAN reports that security has been tightened around Mobil oil blocs in the Atlantic Ocean after the attack by unidentified gunmen.

NAN learnt that the offshore unit of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has scheduled a meeting to discuss the safety of the workforce at the oil field.

Its Chairman, Mr Jude Nwaogu, told NAN on Monday that although the abducted person was not a member of the association, the union was concerned about the safety of its members.

“The development is of concern to us because security is all embracing and we are monitoring the situation closely to ensure that our people out there are not endangered.

“Our offshore unit is meeting to review the situation and assure our members that there is adequate security,” Nwaogu said.

Sources at the oil fields said the gunmen shot and wounded a naval officer on board MV Igbere, which was supplying diesel to Idoho oil production platform, about 18km from Ibeno shoreline.

The incident did not disrupt production at the 900,000 barrels per day export facility.