The Department of Petroleum Resources has said it will impose sanctions on fuel marketers operating illegal gas facilities in the country.

The acting Director, DPR, Mr Ahmad Shakur, gave the warning on Monday at a press briefing in Lagos while announcing the lifting of the suspension placed on Petrocam Trading Nigeria Limited.

He said DPR officials went on surveillance recently and found the company to be operating an illegal gas plant at Ayobo, Alimosho Local Government, Lagos.

He said, “The facility was sealed. Unfortunately, the company, against the extant rules of the Department of Petroleum Resources, unsealed the facility. Our team went back and sealed the facility but for the second time again, the company had the audacity to remove our seal.

“So, on the basis of that, the department had no option than to impose some sanctions that affected all its retail outlets nationwide. We stopped supply of products to the company.”

Shakur, however, said the company had complied with the extant rules of the agency and “we have decided to lift the suspension on the company.”

He said, “However, we want to bring to the notice of the members of the public that the department has zero tolerance for infractions by licensed operators in the oil and gas industry. We will collaborate to make sure we create conducive environment for operators.

“This should serve as a warning to all marketers that henceforth, the department will not hesitate to impose appropriate sanctions on any defaulting marketers. We are willing to guide and collaborate to make sure we deliver products in a safe manner to the members of the public.”

The DPR Zonal Operations Controller, Lagos, Mr Wole Akinyosoye, said illegal gas facilities had been sprouting up across the country.

He said, “We do our surveillance every week. In Lagos State alone, we have over 1,500 filling stations that are legal, and there is an extent to which this could be done every day. Any time we go out and all these infractions are seen, the stations are sealed and they are not opened until they have put themselves in compliance.”

“There is no day we go out that we do not seal gas facilities because the skid itself is becoming a major problem to us; we have a lot of illegal skids and DPR has shut down most of these skids with the assistance of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps of Lagos State. These (illegal) skids you have seen around would have been five to eight times more than that without the intervention of the DPR.”

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