A gas pipeline owned by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) exploded, resulting in the destruction of the surrounding flora in the Obagi community of the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area in Rivers State.
This incident, occurring on a Wednesday evening, caused no casualties but follows closely on the heels of another explosion less than a month ago in Omoku West within the same local government area, which claimed the lives of 19 individuals.
Vincent Job, the Local Government Chairman, confirmed the recent incident during an interview with the newsmen on Saturday.
He affirmed that the explosion took place in Obagi, and fortunately, there was no loss of life.
Job, after personally visiting the area, reported that the locals attribute the explosion to equipment failure, though insights from oil and gas experts are awaited.
Highlighting the challenges faced in the oil field, Job referenced a previous crude oil explosion in Omoku West and expressed concern over aging equipment, some of which have been in use for over 30 or 40 years.
He called for the Federal Government and International Oil Companies (IOCs) to prioritize the maintenance and updating of pipelines and facilities to prevent such incidents.
Eze Clinton Elemele, the traditional ruler of the community, revealed that a gas leak had been reported since June of the previous year.
Despite notifying Agip and NLNG, an inspection concluded the pipeline was not theirs.
However, following the explosion, Agip has acknowledged ownership.
Residents in the community are upset about what they perceive as neglect by NAOC, accusing the company of failing to conduct a proper Environmental Impact Assessment before installing the pipeline.
As of the current moment, a Joint Investigation Visit is pending, and neither Agip nor the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has issued any statements regarding the explosion.