NPDC blames oil well fire on pipeline vandalism

Scene of the pipeline fire

FILE:The pipeline explosion/fire in Ondo

By Jethro Ibileke

The Managing Director of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Mr. Mansur Sambo, has blamed the fire incident that ravaged Oil Well 18T, OML 20, Egbema west, in Imo state on pipeline vandalism.

He made this disclosure on Wednesday at the 2019 Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) week held in Benin, Edo state.

NPDC is a subsidiary company of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Sambo said even though the fire incident occurred far away from NPDC oil well head, safety personnel of the company successfully extinguished the fire on record time of three weeks.

“What happened was that all the oil that was been vandalised came out of the ground. The most interesting thing is that we took care of it in record time without any fatality,” he said

Sambo explained that “it took the resilience and professionalism of NPDC personnel and professional divers from indigenous contractors to contain the inferno within three weeks.

Putting out fire of that magnitude usually take up to seven months, but in this case NPDC achieved the feat in record time, despite the challenging environment,” he added.

The Managing Director pledged that the company will continue to uphold best global acceptable safety measures in its operations.

“We need to sensitize our staff because in the environment we operate, we deal with heavy equipment.

“NPDC is the exploration and production of the upstream sector and this event is very significant, being the watchdog of safety.

“All these equipment need to be handled in a globally acceptable manner. Safety is a global concern, because there is no price to life and property. No matter what you are paid as insurance, you cannot recover once you lose them,” Sambo said.