Nigerian energy giant, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCo), has successfully put out the fire in the vicinity of its Nembe Creek Well-7, in Bayelsa State, thus averting loss of lives and other dangers to the communities in the area.
However, the community leadership has urged Nigeria’s oil and gas industry regulators to wield the big stick against the company over alleged poor handing of an explosion within the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29.
The fire had started behind Mile 1 community in the state, behind the early hours of Friday.
According to sources close to the site, Aiteo responded to emergency calls from the community and mobilised its team to the area.
It was later discovered that the fire was caused by an explosion at the oil company’s Well-7, which produces about 3,500 barrels per day.
However, the fire was successfully put out on Friday, thus dousing the panic earlier generated by the incident in the community.
Initial reports claimed that scores of people were missing, but a source close to the company described the reports as untrue.
“Although we are still investigating the cause of the fire, what has been reported in the media is largely false and misleading. We have confirmed from the community that no lives were lost, no property was damaged, and nobody is missing,” the source said.
‘’Fortunately for the company, the fire was at a location where there were no human elements and other assets belonging to the community. The fire was pretty much under control within a few hours without damage to anyone. The report in the media alluding to loss of life is just sensational reporting,” the source added.