24 July 2015, Ughelli – Four months after suspected oil pipeline vandals blew up a high pressure gas pipeline belonging to Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, at Ighwrenene in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, another explosion yesterday morning rocked the same pipeline.
Though it could not be confirmed who was responsible for the sabotage of April 3, an Urhobo militant group, Urhobo Gbagbako, claimed responsibility for it.
Investigation by Vanguard revealed that the affected pipeline is a trunk line conveying products from Eriemu, Kokori, Afiesere, Uzere, West-End at Kwale, Ogini, Olomoro and Owhe to the Ughelli Quality Control Center, UQCC.
Owing to the terrain of the road leading to the point of explosion, when Vanguard visited the scene of the incident as at 8:40am, men of the NPDC and Delta State Fire Service were seen helplessly battling to gain access as the road was flooded waist deep with water.
A staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, fire department who spoke on anonymity, said: “We are making attempts to switch off supply to the line, but till that happens, we are helpless and can’t gain access to the point of explosion owing to the flooded terrain of the road.’’
Meanwhile, residents of Ighwrenene and other adjourning communities in the area have lamented the state of security of the pipelines criss-crossing their communities, with a call on the federal government to patronize locals in the security of the pipelines.