NPDC suspects foul play in OML 20 fire incident

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said today that its subsidiary upstream company, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC), reported a fire incident on one of its oil blocks – Oil Mining Lease (OML) 20 at Egbema-West of Imo State.

A statement by the corporation’s acting group general manager, public affairs, Mr. Samson Makoji quotes the acting group general managing director of NPDC, Mr. Mansur Sambo, as saying that preliminary investigation on the incident revealed that a spark, which ignited the fire during an illegal bunkering activity by vandals, might have caused the incident.

Makoji said the fire outbreak was discovered on October 7, but did not disclose what level of loss it has caused Nigeria in terms of shut-in of oil production from the asset and revenue therein.

He further quoted Sambo as saying that the incident occurred in the oil block’s ‘Well–18T’ located within the flooded part of Abacheke community.

A report released by the community liaison officer in charge of Abacheke community indicated that no fatality was recorded.

NPDC, according to the statement, also said appropriate action to minimise the impact of the fire and ensure safety of the community had been taken.

Following successful aerial surveillance carried out on October 9, NPDC said it was mobilising and employing the services of a reputable safety consultant to completely put out the fire.

The upstream oil company however advised members of Abacheke community and its environs to avoid the affected area and stay calm. It equally promised to update the general public on the incident.

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