Nigeria LNG Limited and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have started exchanging words over the explosion that hit the NLNG pipelines in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Nigeria LNG, National Daily gathered has put the blame on the activities of Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to a statement issued by its General Manager, External Relations Division, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, the explosion struck about three kilometres from Rumuji in Rivers State.
The company, however, added that no casualties were reported, and that the incident was being investigated.
“An explosion occurred in the afternoon of Wednesday, 22nd February 2017 on a section of the Right of Way housing two gas transmission pipelines, one of which belongs to Nigeria LNG, about 3 kilometres from Rumuji in Rivers State,” the statement said.
Though the NLNG added that the underlying cause of the incident was still to be determined, it was, however, alleged that it was the operation of IDSL, which involves the use of dynamites and grenades around the area that caused the explosion.
According to the allegation, when the IDSL denoted the explosives used in its operation, the vibration caused the explosion that hit NLNG pipelines.
But in a swift reaction, IDSL had explained that it was not responsible for the pipeline explosion.
NNPC’s spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu admitted that IDSL used explosives around the area but added that the IDSL’s operation crew, which was engaged in acquiring seismic data for SPDC in Oil Mining Lease (OML), 17/22 ROBO 3D prospect, observed approved safe distance standards contained in the Department of Petroleum Resources’ (DPR) regulations and as such could not be the cause of the blast.
However, an official of NLNG, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told National Daily that the preliminary results of the interim investigation showed that IDSL may be culpable.
“Investigation is still ongoing but from what we have gathered so far, everything points to the operation of IDSL. When you are using explosives, you can’t be 100 per cent accurate on minimum safe distance. The impact of explosives may extend far beyond scientific projection. That is why the military warns civilians to stay away from certain areas when they want to carry out training exercises because you can’t be too sure of safe distance,” he explained.