To Avert Gas Explosions, DPR Issues New Operational Guidelines


Peter Uzoho

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has released guidelines for the establishment and operations of the downstream gas facilities.
The agency has faced criticisms for licensing gas plants that did not meet standards, a development, which led to Lagos gas explosions with attendant loss of lives.

The guidelines include: guidelines for the establishment and operations of LPG refilling plants and retail outlets, guidelines for establishment of auto gas re-fuelling stations and guidelines for the establishment of gas storage and utilisation.

The Director of DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, in a statement yesterday by the agency’s Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Paul Osu, stated that the guidelines stipulates the minimum requirements, procedures and conditions to be fulfilled before the grant of approvals or licences for the construction, installation, modification, takeover, relocation and operations of downstream gas facilities in Nigeria.

He said that the guidelines, posted on the agency’s website, were developed to enhance gas penetration and utilisation, enhance operational safety as well as ease of doing business in the oil and gas sector.
He said that companies intending to establish these facilities must satisfy all necessary requirements stipulated by DPR and obtain the underlisted applicable approvals – site suitability approval; Approval to Construct (ATC)/Approval to Install, and Licence to Operate.

He said that necessary amenities and equipment such as functional automated/manual leak tester, functional fire alarm system, and mounted gas detectors, adequate fire water storage and sprinklers, perimeter fence with fire wall amongst others must be provided in the facilities.

He stated that the objective of the guidelines was to ensure that the baseline standard regarding HSE was achieved.
Meanwhile, the DPR director while further commiserating with the victims of the recent gas fire incident in Lagos, informed that preliminary reports from DPR investigations revealed that the facility was operating without licence and was carrying out illegal operations, which resulted in the unfortunate incident.

He promised that DPR will continue to update the public on the progress of its ongoing investigation into the incident while assuring that the agency will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure safe operations of all oil and gas facilities in Nigeria.