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Senate to investigates explosion near Bayelsa gas facility



Senate to investigates explosion near Bayelsa gas facility

The Senate has formed an ad hoc committee to investigate the recent explosion near the Gbarain-Ubie gas processing facility in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

This decision followed the adoption of a motion at the Senate’s plenary session on Wednesday, led by Senator Benson Konbowei (PDP-Bayelsa), according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Senator Konbowei highlighted the significance of the Gbarain-Ubie facility, describing it as one of Nigeria’s most valuable gas projects, constructed at a cost of billions of dollars.

The plant has the capacity to process approximately two billion standard cubic feet of gas daily, supplying gas to the Bonny terminal for export and serving as a crucial source of foreign exchange earnings and employment.

Konbowei reported that on May 14, a series of explosions occurred from a crude oil pipeline near the gas facility, resulting in a substantial inferno.

He stressed that these explosions posed a significant threat to the facility, which is a critical national economic asset.

The incident caused widespread panic among local residents and resulted in the release of large volumes of poisonous gases, leading to severe environmental pollution and health risks.

Senator Diket Plang (APC-Plateau) emphasized the necessity for oil and gas companies to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) before commencing explorations, noting the dangers of inhaling carbon dioxide.

The motion received support from other lawmakers, including Senators Seriake Dickson (PDP-Bayelsa) and Etang Williams (APC-Cross River), who seconded the motion.

In response, the Senate called on the government to adopt measures to protect the environment from further degradation.

They also urged the pipeline operators to provide medical assistance and relief materials to the affected communities.

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