Fear gripped the Otu-Jeremi community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, when a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) exploded yesterday, curtailing oil and gas production.
The affected Abura Crude Trunk line, services Oil Mining Lease 34 (OML 34) jointly operated by the NPDC, the production arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and ND Western, an indigenous oil firm.
As a precaution, the NNPC was said to have immediately shut down production, while efforts have commenced to repair the damaged pipeline.
NNPC spokesman Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said that the incident was gas explosion and not pipeline explosion as reported, adding that production was immediately shut down to enable experts commence repair today.
Ughamadu, who said no life was lost in the incident, explained that the affected pipeline was inherited from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC).
However, security sources said that at about 12 noon on Friday, residents reported a sudden loud bang from the area where pipelines crisscrossed the community.
It was gathered that following the explosion, crude oil was gushing out of the pipeline, known as Abura Crude Trunkline operated by the NPDC.
“The oil pipeline exploded at about noon with oil volumes of crude oil gushing out into the surroundings in Otu-Jeremi, Headquarters of Ughelli South Local Government area”, another source said.