ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has confirmed an oil leak from a 12 inch Benisede-Brass Creek Delivery Line at Peretuorugbene in Bayelsa State.
The agency said on Sunday that it investigated the incident that occurred on the pipeline operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC).
NOSDRA, which concluded its investigation on Saturday, lamented the adverse impact of oil theft and pipeline vandalism on the environment and economy of the nation.
It noted that frequent vandalism of gas pipelines was responsible for the massive drop in power generation and collapse of the national grid.
The Director-General, NOSDRA, Mr Idris Musa, spoke while reacting to a leak incident reported on the 12-inch Benisede-Brass Creek Delivery Line at Peretuorugbene in Bayelsa.
Musa said that a joint investigation conducted by NOSDRA, the operator, and community representatives on the incident indicated that the incident was caused by oil theft.
He explained that the investigating team discovered that suspected vandals installed several ‘tapping points’ on the Benisede-Brass Creek pipeline from where they syphoned crude oil.
He berated the unpatriotic act which amounted to economic sabotage and called on stakeholders to rise against the menace which he said had reached an alarming rate.
Musa stated: “Despite several appeals to our people to put the nation’s environment and the economy at a higher level of consideration and consciousness, some unpatriotic elements continue to inflict untold hardship on our environment and the economy.
“They do this by installing several tapping points on crude oil pipelines, particularly the current incidents at 12” Benisede-Brass Creek Delivery Line at Peretuorugbene in Bayelsa.
“The current collapse of the National Grid is also fueled by the incessant vandalism of the gas pipelines both causing embarrassment to the nation as well as sabotaging government efforts in providing quality services to the nation.
“The agency is further calling on our people to join hands with the government in a bid to flush out the criminal elements that are bent on enriching themselves through pipelines repairs and oil theft.”