The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) on Tuesday reported a gas leak incident on the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company’s (NPDC), Well 6, in Sangama community, Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, said who issued a statement on the incident said efforts were being made alongside other relevant agencies to fix the situation.
Komolafe said the incident was reported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Exploration & Production Limited (NNPC E&P LTD) on September 9, 2022 after the leakage was observed on September 3, 2022 at about 13:30 hours.
He said a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on September 11, by a team from NUPRC, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Rivers State Ministry of Environment as well as Community representatives with the support of representatives of the security, and to including the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
During the JIV, the CCE said the team observed the gas leak from one of the valves on the affected wellhead.
A closer look, he noted, revealed that the Anode valve on the wellhead had been tampered with.
“It was adjudged by the regulators to have been caused by third party interference,” the statement said.
However, he said the community did not agree with the regulators observation and as a result refused to sign the joint investigation report in spite of the technical explanation by the team.
The CCE said the disagreement between the community and the regulator prompted the team to reconvene on September 15, 2022, after which an extensive discussion with all stakeholders persuaded the community to eventually sign the incident report.
“Efforts are on-going to prevent further leakage, repair the damage and ensure that the development does not in any way affect the health and social lives of the people of the area and does not negatively impact the environment,” the NUPRC boss assured.