By Jolly Adjevwe – Port Harcourt
Total exploration and production Nigeria Limited has blamed the oil spill discovered on its Obagi-Rumuekpe export line on sabotage.
The General Manager, Onshore Production, Dr. Abdullahi Inuwa, said a joint assessment team, which included the Rivers State Ministry of Environment, National oil spill detection and response agency and the department of petroleum resources, agreed that spill was cause by third party interference.
It would be recalled that the oil firm had announced the stoppage of expedition of crude to its Obagi-Rumuekpe 12” oil export pipeline as a result of oil spill and fresh excavation on the pipeline’s way.
Total E&P had, in a statement signed by the deputy General Manager, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Charles Ogan, claimed that the spill was discovered on August 16, 2015 when oil expected from Obagi-rumuekpe metering station.
But Inuwa, who led some TEPNG officials and team journalists to the site, explained that and object, was used to hit the pipeline at two different locations to force oil to gush out, pointing out that at the point, a drill was used to perforate the pipe, adding that the contractors, whose responsibility was to protect the pipeline, could be sanctioned.
He said, “It (oil spill site) was jointly assessed and this is a result of third party interference. We have the document from the Rivers State Ministry of Environment and we all agreed that it was third party interference. “Something was used to hit the pipeline deep down so that the oil can come out. This is one of the locations; they are two locations. At the other one, it was like a drill was used to perforate the pipe”.