Third party interference responsible for gas leak incident on NPDC well in Rivers – NUPRC

Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC), Mr Gbenga Komolafe
Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC), Mr Gbenga Komolafe

By CALLISTUS OFFOR, Abuja –

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has has reacted to the gas leak incident on the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company’s (NPDC), Well 6, in Sangama community, Bonny LGA of Rivers State.

The incident which was reportedly observed on September 3, 2022 at about 13:30 hours, was reported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Exploration & Production Limited (NNPC E&P LTD) on September 9, 2022.

NUPRC Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, said in a statement on Tuesday, that a joint investigation by various team revealed that one of the valves on the well head had been tampered with.

Engr. Komolafe said it was adjudged by the regulators to have been caused by third party interference.

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 Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in attendance.

“During the JIV, the team observed gas leak from one of the valves on the well head. A closer look revealed that the Anode valve on the well head had been tampered with. It was adjudged by the regulators to have been caused by third party interference.

“However, the community did not agree with the regulators and as a result would not sign the joint investigation report in spite of the technical explanation by the team. This prompted the team to reconvene on September 15, 2022 when, after an extensive discussion, all stakeholders eventually signed the incident report”, the NUPRC boss said.

Mr. Komolafe, however, said efforts are being made alongside other relevant agencies to deal with the situation.

He said: “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”.

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