Port Harcourt — The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, has said that security concerns in Bayelsa State was delaying probe into the explosion and the resulting oil spill at the Brass Oil Terminal operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC.
Recall that a pipeline explosion on a line feeding the oil export facility operated by NAOC, disrupted activities at the terminal earlier this month, compelling the Eni of Italy subsidiary to shutdown operations at the terminal.
The facility, according to Eni, has the capacity to handle exports of 90,000 barrels of crude per day.
But the Director-General of NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, said the agency had received the report of the spill, but was looking at the security concerns which triggered violent protests in Bayelsa.
The Bayelsa State Police Command since February 14, 2020 imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the state, following violent protests by some residents in protest of the Supreme Court judgment, which sacked the governor-elect, David Lyon, of the All Progressives Congress and handed victory to Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Musa, who recalled that two regulatory officials – one each from NOSDRA and Bayelsa Ministry of Environment – had died following a blast at an oilfield operated by NAOC at Azuzuam in Bayelsa in July 2015, explained that the agency was concerned about safety, before a Joint Investigative Visit, JIV, to the site.
He assured that the JIV, with representatives of the host community, oil firm, DPR and Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, to ascertain the cause and volume of the spill would be carried out as soon as it was safe to do so.
“There was no explosion on the pipeline but spill. The cause is being investigated. Indeed there were three different points.
“The security situation in the state is being considered for a safe investigation,” the NOSDRA boss said.