An offshore rig under construction by Shelf Oil and Gas Drilling Company Nigeria Limited has exploded in the Atlantic Ocean close to Sangana, Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that the explosion, which occurred at the Otuo Oil Field on Tuesday, caused massive gas leaks into the Ocean and the entire Sangana community.
The incident from the facility called Adriatic One was said to have forced most residents of the area to flee while others were still waiting for boats at the jetty to relocate from the community.
The Adriatic One facility located deep into the Atlantic is just about 20 metres away from the residential area.
Some of the residents protested the development with placards and called on the Federal Government to prevail on the oil company to stop the leakage.
The entire area was said to be saturated with gas as the residents, who complained of their inability to breathe well, expressed fear of fire outbreak.
The oil company was said to have evacuated all their workers abandoning the leakage to continue and leaving the people to their fate.
The Legal Adviser, Oil and Gas Community, Sangana, Ayebatonye Christopher, called for immediate clamping of the leaking facility.
He said: “Our community is in danger. The entire environment of this Sagana Kingdom has been devastated by this pollution. We need quick intervention of the government. We need immediate remediation of this environment”.
The Chairman, Bayelsa State House of Aseembly Committee on Information, Mr. Tari Porri, said the issue was brought before the House under matters of urgent public importance on Thursday by the member representing Brass Constituency 1.
He described the situation as serious and said the explosion occurred when the company workers were erecting the rig for gas exploration.
But he said the workers were all evacuated from the platform immediately after the incident leaving the local folks to their fate.
Porri said the lawmakers called on their senior colleagues at the National Assembly to take up the matter and asked the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to investigate the development.
The lawmaker said the gas spread had gone beyond Sangana to include other communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
“The state government has already taken up the matter. The Ijaw National Congress (INC) and the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide are on this issue”, Porri said.
An e-mail sent to the address of the company, email@example.com, was yet to elicit a response.