Nigerian company Aiteo has denied reports of a pipeline explosion in Bayelsa state that is said to have left dozens of people dead or missing, although confirming a well blast and fire in the region.
Reports over the weekend claimed more than 50 people were missing or believed dead following an oil leak and explosion at a section of pipeline in Nembe that feeds crude to the Bonny export terminal.
Reports cited an official from Nembe kingdom as saying the explosion early on Friday caused an oil spill and stampede, with dozens missing.
However, in a statement sent to Upstream, pipeline operator Aiteo said the suspected explosion actually took place on Saturday and was in the vicinity of Nembe Creek Well 7, behind 1 Mile Community.
“Despite initial challenges, our operations team were able to access the well head area when the fire had completely died down (in the) early hours of (Saturday),” the statement read.
“Preliminary investigations confirm that there were no fatalities, human incidents or damage to community property,” the company claimed.
“All the wells and facilities in the immediate vicinity have been inspected and secured.”
Aiteo also denied that the incident involved any part of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) or other pipelines.
“It is important to note that prior to this incident, all facilities have been shut down since 28 February 2019 due to NCTL outage.
“Accordingly, any account suggesting that this incident arose from or affected any pipelines is wholly inaccurate and misleading.”
Investigations into the cause of the incident are ongoing.
State player Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation also said this weekend that there was no record of a pipeline explosion in Nembe.sdsdssd