The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has said its report after investigating the reported gas leak in Sangama Community of Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State revealed that it was caused by suspected vandals and thieves.
This is contained in a press statement signed by the commission’s executive, Gbenga Komolafe, a copy of which was made available to TheNewsGuru.
According to the statement, a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on September 11, by a team from NUPRC, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Rivers State Ministry of Environment as well as Community representatives with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) upon receipt of a notification to the development.
The statement reads in parts, “The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) been notified of a gas leak incident on the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company’s (NPDC), Well 6, in Sangama community, Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State. Efforts are being made alongside other relevant agencies to deal with the situation.
“The incident which was reportedly observed on September 3, 2022 at about 13:30 hours, was reported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Exploration & Production Limited (NNPC E&P LTD) on September 9, 2022.
“A Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on September 11, by a team from NUPRC, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Rivers State Ministry of Environment as well as Community representatives with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in attendance.
“During the JIV, the team observed gas leak from one of the valves on the well head. A closer look revealed that the Anode valve on the well head had been tampered with. It was adjudged by the regulators to have been caused by third party interference.”
The statement said the community had a disagreement with the regukatira, hence their refusal to sign the investigation report.
“However, the community did not agree with the regulators and as a result would not sign the joint investigation report in spite of the technical explanation by the team. This prompted the team to reconvene on September 15, 2022 when, after an extensive discussion, all stakeholders eventually signed the incident report.
“Efforts are on-going to prevent further leakage, repair the damage and ensure that the development does not in any way affect the health and social lives of the people of the area and does not negatively impact the environment,” it concluded.