Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) could now be on the path to loss-making, following a fire outbreak in five of its oil wells in some communities in Ilaje Local Government Area Ondo State.
The oil wells that gutted fire on Thursday, April 25, 2019, were confirmed to be owned by the oil giant.
According to a source who didn’t want his name mentioned in the media space, the inferno started in Ajegunle Ikorigho community and soon spread to communities like Ojumole, which is located in Ikorigho land in the local government.
It was gathered that other communities affected also include -Isan-West field, Parable field, Malu field, Ororo and Opokaba Otumara, Ikorigho, Ajegunle-Ikorigho, Zion Ikorigho, Iluayo, Kendo Ayeren, and Ehinmoghan-Ikorigho communities, all in the Ilaje Local Government.
As at the time of filing this report, the cause of the fire outbreak was yet to be ascertained.
In a statement made available to newsmen, the General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs, of the CNL, Esimaje Brikinn, confirmed the incident and said the inferno had started since last week Thursday. The residents of the affected communities confirmed that fire had yet to be put out as of yesterday (Thursday, April 25).
The statement read in part:
“THE OPERATOR OF THE JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION AND THE CNL CONFIRMS THAT AT ABOUT 10PM ON THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019, A FIRE WAS OBSERVED AT THE OJUMOLE WELL NO. 1, AN IDLE AND PLUGGED WELL WITH NO FLOWLINE CONNECTED TO IT. OJUMOLE FIELD IS IN NNPC/CNL JV’S WESTERN NIGER DELTA AREA OF OPERATIONS.
“THE CNL CONDUCTED AN OVERFLIGHT TO EVALUATE THE FIRE AND ALSO MOBILISED EMERGENCY RESPONDERS TO ASSESS THE SITE, CONTAIN THE FIRE AND BOOM THE AREA. IN ADDITION, CNL NOTIFIED COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS ABOUT THE INCIDENT AND ALSO REPORTED IT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PETROLEUM RESOURCES, NATIONAL OIL SPILL DETECTION AND RESPONSE AGENCY AND OTHER REGULATORY AND SECURITY AUTHORITIES.
“A JOINT INVESTIGATION VISIT TO THE SITE OF THE INCIDENT ON SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2019, BY A TEAM MADE UP OF REGULATORY AGENCIES, COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS AND CNL, DETERMINED THAT THE FIRE INCIDENT WAS CAUSED BY THIRD-PARTY INTERFERENCE. THERE WAS NO IMPACT ON ANY OF THE NEIGHBOURING COMMUNITIES.”