A gas pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) at Ogbembiri in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State has been blown up at least 13 times in one month.
A fresh attack by gunmen occurred on the pipeline on Sunday and raised questions within the community on why security agencies saddled with the responsibility of protecting oil installations had been unable to stop the frequent breaches.
The gunmen reportedly stormed the community at about 9:00pm, traced the pipeline and ruptured it at a point it was previously repaired after the last attack.
While some sources said dynamites were used to blow the pipeline, others said the gunmen deployed other mechanical devices to rupture the line.
It was learnt that the facility which is a major gas supply pipelines in the country criss-crossed Tumor community in Bomadi, Delta State; Ogbuasiri in Ekeremor and Ogbembiri in Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State.
While the pipeline is said to be relatively safe in other communities, it has continued to be incessantly attacked at the Southern Ijaw community.
A source at the Ogbembiri community who spoke in confidence lamented the constant breaches of gas pipeline in the area.
He said the attacks had raised some questions considering that a contractor in charge of pipeline surveillance hails from the community.
“Agip awarded the contract for security surveillance and repairs of the pipeline in case of a breach to a contractor from the community.
“So, the contractor enjoys dual contract of protecting the pipeline and also repairing it whenever there is a leakage. But it is baffling how the pipeline increasingly comes under attack.
“It is a major pipeline because it supplies gas for domestic consumption and Agip has spent a lot of money fixing it,” the source said.
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