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Fire outbreak engulfs five oil wells in Ondo

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FIVE oil wells in Ajegunle Ikorigho community in Illaje local government, Ondo State on Thursday went up in flames and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

The affected oil wells are Ojumole oil field, Isan-West field, Parable field, Malu field, Ororo and Opokaba.

Several communities affected by the fire include Otumara, Ikorigho, Ajegunle-Ikorigho, Zion Ikorigho, Iluayo, Kendo Ayeren and Ehinmoghan-Ikorigho communities.

The Ojumole oil field was part of the 14 onshore oil wells ceded to Ondo state in 2004 by the Delta state government after the resolution of boundary area conflict between the two states.

The ICIR contacted the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, spokesperson Sani Datti, but he said he was unaware of the incident because he was out of the office.

” I am not in the office currently so I can’t tell you anything about the fire outbreak because I’ve not been briefed,” he said.

On Sunday, Aiteo Eastern Exploration & Production Company Limited declared a force majeure on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) after a fire outbreak was discovered on a section of the pipeline.

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The NCTL, located in Rivers state, is a 100-kilometre long pipeline that transports up to 150,000 barrels per day, bpd, of the Bonny Light crude out of the country through the Bonny Crude Oil Export Terminal operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

The NCTL shutdown is the second in two months as operations only resumed on March 7 following the plugging of a leak which necessitated the shutdown of the facility on February 28.

The pipeline has been a target of oil thieves and vandals since it was inaugurated after Aiteo purchased a 45 per cent stake from SPDC in 2015.

 

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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