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NNPC cautions against encroachment on pipeline way

ROM the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has come a warning that Nigerians should desist from encroaching on the pipeline right of way to avoid the tragic consequences that usually follow such encroachment.
The corporation spoke as a combined team of pipeline engineers and safety/environment experts from the NNPC and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), successfully drained over 450,000 litres of premium motor spirit from an oil leak site at Isheri Olofin along the Iyana Iba-Igando expressway in Lagos.
The volume of the evacuated petroleum product, which also contain some amount of water, is the equivalent of over 13 standard trucks of PMS. The NNPC/PPMC team had moved into the area early last month to avert a possible
environmental tragedy following report by residents of nearby Diamond Estate that water from their wells and boreholes has been polluted with huge volume of PMS.
Speaking at the end of an on-the- spot assessment exercise by an NNPC/PPMC management team, the newly appointed Managing Director of PPMC, Haruna Momoh, said the corporation is determined to avert any tragic incident arising from the unfortunate development.
“Our priority is safety. That is why the Group Managing Director of the NNPC dispatched this top management team to undertake a firsthand appraisal of work
progress. I am happy we have a competent technical team that is capable and well equipped to arrest the situation as quickly as possible,” Momoh said.
Apart from engineers and technicians, the technical team also has on ground an 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 – safety officers from the Corporation’s Safety Department.
Already, residents of Diamond Estate have given the NNPC/PPMC technical team the permission to enter the premises and deploy vacuum trucks, which would be used to suck the polluted water from their various wells, through pipes into standby trailers.
The PPMC boss stated that while the evacuation subsists, the NNPC team is conducting a painstaking technical audit and inspection of the whole area to determine the root cause of the petrol leak.
“We don’t want to speculate, we want to allow the technical team to conduct a proper inquest, but I know for sure that our pipelines are intact, I can vouch for the integrity of the pipelines,” he said.
Momoh also raised the red flag on the incessant infringement on petroleum pipeline right of way through the erection of buildings, warning that such an infraction portends danger to all concerned.
Before the visit to the Isheri-Olofin site, the NNPC/PPMC team,
with the aid of helicopter, embarked on an aerial survey of the petroleum products pipeline right of way stretching from the Atlas Cove –Isheri-Olofin through Akute in Ogun State to the Mosimi depot.
Speaking on the incident, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs of the NNPC, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, hinted that the corporation has mobilised apt human and material resources to tackle the matter squarely.
“The NNPC management is going full blast to tackle the situation. We
have deployed a formidable team of pipeline engineers and technologist to crack the riddle while we carry on with the evacuation programme,” he said.
Ajuonuma also stated that once the technical team is through with the evacuation of the polluted wells, the next stage is to conduct a proper laboratory test on the wells and other sources of drinking water within the estate to ensure that the water is completely free from any trace of hydrocarbon.
Mr. Alaba Akinsulire, Facility Manager of Diamond Estate, pledged the commitment of residents to cooperate with the NNPC in this regard.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Austen Oniwon, has again assured that the reforms in the oil sector will not lead to exodus of investment from the country but would rather serve as a harbinger of fortune, saying it will herald inflow of more investment and exploration of latent opportunities that abound in the sector.
Speaking in Abuja at the weekend at a book launch titled “The Political Economy of the Oil and Gas in Africa: The Case of Nigeria” authored by an NNPC Staff, Dr. Soala Ariweriokuma, Oniwon reassured the Joint Venture partners and other players that the intention of the Federal Government in the ongoing industry reforms is not to discourage investment but to strengthen the industry within a clearly defined framework.
“I can assure you that the oil reforms being pursued by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration will ensure the sustainability of existing investments and attract new deals into the entire hydrocarbon value chain given the various targets that have been set,” Oniwon stated.
-Guardian

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