The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has identified lack of compliance with safety guidelines by retail outlets as the major cause of gas explosions and fire accidents in the country.
This was disclosed during the zonal annual general meeting of oil and gas stakeholders tagged: Oil And Gas Safe Operations And Compliance: DPR As A Business Enabler in Warri, Delta State.
The Director and Chief Executive Officer of DPR, Sarki Anwalu, who was represented by Zonal Controller Port Harcourt, Bassey Nkanga, explained that the theme of the meeting was chosen in line with DPR’s statutory responsibility of ensuing compliance with petroleum laws, regulations and guidelines in the oil and gas industry.
Speaking at the meeting, the Zonal Controller of DPR in Delta State, Antai Asuquo, explained that the dealers’ lack of compliance with safety rules and guidelines had resulted in the loss of lives in the sector.
Incidentally, while the DPR was urging dealers in the Warri zone comprising Delta, Edo and Ondo states to imbibe safety standards, a gas plant exploded in Agbor, Delta State at the weekend, killing four persons and injuring two others.
Asuquo disclosed that the DPR recently destroyed a gas facility in Ughelli, Delta State, as owners of the plant were caught selling products directly from trucks and indulging in other dangerous practices.
He pledged that the DPR would increase its surveillance activities, stressing that beyond surveillance; it would encourage members of the public to provide useful information on all illegal activities.
He also blamed the increasing explosions and fuel tanker accidents across the country on human error and lack of compliance to safety guidelines by drivers.
“Following the incidents, we have upgraded our checks on tank construction, we are also trying to register all trucks that lift petroleum products, whether gas or other products at the various depots.Our next move is to train drivers in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC),” he added.