Oil thief blew himself up after attack on Addax flow station in Imo

Oredola Adeola with agency reports

A suspected oil thief has mistakenly  blown himself up during an explosion which occurred at  Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Ltd. flow station in Izombe, Imo. This was confirmed in a statement by Mrs Awatt Etta, spokesperson of the oil firm on Friday.

 CSP Mike Abattam, spokesman for Police Command Imo, also confirmed the incident to the news agency. He said police have reinforced security in the area.

According to the Addax spokesperson, an unexploded explosive device and the corpse of the suspected vandal were found at the incident site within its Oil Mining Lease (OML) 124, which is located in the onshore Eastern Nigeria.

Etta further disclosed  that the oil company is collaborating with regulatory agencies and security agencies in ongoing investigations into the incident.

She said, “At about 01:15am on May 4, 2022, an explosion occurred along a track road leading to one of the well heads at Izombe Flow station in OML 124.

“An immediate search was conducted, and unexploded Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and a corpse were found at the scene.

“Government Security and Regulatory Agencies were promptly notified of the incident. The Police Bomb Disposal Unit have detonated the IEDs and deposited the corpse at the mortuary.

“Details of the incident are still sketchy, but it is suspected that the bomb which detonated and caused the explosion was being carried by the deceased who is yet to be identified.

“We are currently working with relevant authorities investigating the incident. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available,” Addax stated.

EnergyDay gathered that the OML is part of the controversial assets revoked in March 31, 2021 by the now defunct Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), from NNPC Group which is in production sharing contract with Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria Limited due to the non-development of the assets by the company.

In April 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari, thereafter approved the restoration of the leases on OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 to  Addax Petroleum.

The assets are OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137, owned by Addax, a company wholly owned by the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the blocks. 

Seplat Petroleum had once shown interest in acquiring the asset, once it is sure that Sinopec, Addax’s parent company, is divesting the company’s assets in Nigeria and Gabon as was then speculated.