An unknown militant group in the Niger Delta region has reportedly blown up the Abura oil pipeline, a major oil trunk line operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company around Osieta Avenue near Otu-Jeremi in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Our correspondent gathered that the trunk line was reportedly bombed on Sunday at about 6.40am by the militants causing a serious fire outbreak in the area.
The incident occurred a kilometre near the West African biggest Otorogu Gas Plant, at Otu-Jeremi, Iwhrekan and Otor-Udu communities across Ughelli South and Udu council areas of the state.
Residents of the area confirmed the incident, saying that the attack was heralded with explosion before they later observed a fire outbreak in the area.
A source said it was the swift intervention of the fire service from the Otorogu Gas Plant that stopped the raging fire from spreading to residential buildings which was just less than a kilometre from the scene of the incident.
There was no casualty in the incident which lasted for over five hours, another source added.
The Abura oil pipeline is one of the major trunk lines that supplies crude to the Otu-Jeremi Flow Station and the Otorogu Gas Plant.
The Chairman of Ughelli South Council Area, Mr. Paul Etaga, who had earlier visited the scene of the attack along with Lt. Col. U. Abdusalam, Commander, 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor, Ughelli North council, confirmed the incident.
Etaga, who spoke with our correspondent on Sunday evening, decried the attack, saying several economic trees in the area were razed down by the fire outbreak.
The Ughelli South Council Chairman said, “The incident led to a fire outbreak. Meanwhile, firefighters had quenched the inferno. We appeal to our youths and militants to desist from vandalising oil facilities. It only causes more harm to us, please.
“Whoever that is responsible for the attack should stop. Youths and militants should know there are better ways of agitating rather than destroying your environment. If not for the fire service that acted swiftly nearby houses would have been burnt and maybe lives would have been lost too.”
A military source, who later confirmed the incident, said no culprit had been arrested in connection with the attack although investigation had commenced.
No militant group, including the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate and the Niger Delta Avengers, has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack on the oil facility.