The management of Chevron Nigeria Limited has reacted to a fire incident at the company’s oil wells in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State on Thursday, April 25.

Reports say that the fire affected at least five oil wells belonging to the company.

It reportedly started at Ajegunle Ikorigho community but also affected Isan-West field, Parable field, Malu field, Ororo and Opokaba Otumara, Ikorigho, Ajegunle-Ikorigho, Zion Ikorigho, Iluayo, Kendo Ayeren and Ehinmoghan-Ikorigho communities in the same LGA.

In a statement signed by General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Mr Esimaje Brikinn, the company explained that the fire occurred at an idle oil well, blaming it on “third-party interference”.

Brikinn said, “The operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the CNL confirms that at about 10pm on Thursday, April 18, 2019, a fire was observed at the Ojumole Well No. 1, an idle and plugged well with no flowline connected to it. Ojumole field is in NNPC/CNL JV’s Western Niger Delta area of operations.

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“The CNL conducted an overflight to evaluate the fire and also mobilised emergency responders to assess the site, contain the fire and boom the area. In addition, CNL notified community stakeholders about the incident and also reported it to the Department of Petroleum Resources, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency and other regulatory and security authorities.

“ A Joint Investigation Visit to the site of the incident on Saturday, April 20, 2019, by a team made up of regulatory agencies, community stakeholders and CNL, determined that the fire incident was caused by third-party interference. There was no impact on any of the neighbouring communities.”

He said the company was working in collaboration with contractors to put out the fire quickly.

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