17 January 2012, Sweetcrude, SAPELE — The Ugbekoko crude oil pipeline facility of Seplat Petroleum Company Limited, in Ugbekoko Community, Sapele Local Government Area, Delta State, went up in flames at the weekend, affecting vegetation in the area, with heavy loss of crude oil, which quantity and value are yet to be ascertained.
The cause of the fire which was still raging at press time, could not be ascertained, but an eye witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the fire might have been caused by a leakage in the pipeline carrying crude oil into the Ugbekoko flow station, belonging to the oil company.
The source added that deposits of crude oil from the leakage caught fire from the burning grasses occasioned by hamarttan fire.
Another eye witness said the fire was caused by vandalisation, caused by some elements who scooped crude oil from the pipeline.
A worker with the company disclosed that the cause of the fire could only be ascertained when the situation was eventually contained, adding that the company was in the proces of putting out the fire.
Chairman of Sapele Okpe Community, Mr. Mosses Ogodo, said it was not possible to ascertain the cause of the fire incident, as it was still raging. He said the community was doing its best to assist in putting off the fire.