Port Harcourt — The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on the Relocation of Tankfarms, has warned that oil storage tanks sited within closed range risk fire outbreaks.
Chairman of the Committee, Sergius Agge, gave the warning during an inspection visit in Port Harcourt, urged the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR to ensure that tank farms conform to operational guidelines of the agency.
Agge explained that in one of the facilities inspected, about 24 storage tanks were sited within close range, making their offset too close.
He said in other facilities, the water sprinklers were not optimally functional and the hydrants were not also as forceful as expected, insisting that accidents do not just happen but could be caused by lapses such as highlighted in the findings.
To this end, the committee urged DPR to put mechanisms to effectively manage accidents that may occur after work hours.
The Committee Chairman said that there was need for collaboration amongst relevant agencies saying that when they started the task some months back, the various agencies involved were not in consonance.
“We look forward to having a breakdown on collaboration amongst relevant agencies such as the Federal Fire Service, the Nigeria Ports Authority, Federal Ministry of Environment, NIMASA and others.”
Also speaking, the Zonal Operations Controller of DPR, Bassey Nkangha, assured the Committee that DPR will not allow its safety strategy to be compromised by tank farms operators in the country.
Nkanga said in the event of lapses, there is room for correction until required compliance level is met in terms of minimal safety requirements.
While assuring to continue to make progressive improvement on its operational guidelines, he said DPR will continue to improve and talk safety, as the oil and gas industry knows that its vision on safety cannot be compromised.