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Nigeria: Fear of environmental disaster after pipeline explosion

Africanews | According to ENI's Nigerian affiliate, an explosion occurred on a pipeline controlled by the Italian oil company in southern Nigeria, resulting in a reduction in exports and an oil leak.

An explosion at the ENI-led joint venture Naoc's facility in Nembe, Bayelsa State, has reduced exports from the Brass terminal by 25,000 barrels per day, according to the company (BPD). At Okparatubo in the Nembe Local Government Area, "an incident occurred on the 24 Ogoda/Brass oil line." "An explosion caused the incident, which resulted in a spill," it stated.

Wells connected to the pipeline were immediately shut down, and booms and containment barges were deployed to mitigate the impact of the oil leak, according to the business. ENI did not provide any additional information about the explosion's cause.

Oil firms, as well as criminal groups who drill into pipelines to loot crude, are frequently blamed for environmental disasters in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer.

This is the company's second explosion in as many days, following an earlier incident on February 28 at its Obama flow station, which resulted in a 5,000 b/d production decrease.

Both explosions were caused by vandalism, according to Idris Musa, director of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (Nosdra). According to him, the first incident resulted in the spilling of 20 barrels, while the second incident resulted in the spilling of 1,250 barrels.

Residents of fishing villages in Nembe and Brass who operate in the creeks and near the Atlantic shore have complained about the harmful effects of frequent spills in the area.

"Our nets and other fishing gear are soaked with crude oil every time there is a leak; they are doomed and we can no longer use them because the smell of crude oil drives away the fish," bemoaned Noel Ikonikumo, president of a local fishermen's union. "We have written to the companies involved, requesting that they listen to us and assist us, but we have received no response."

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