The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Sunday said reports from its preliminary investigations had revealed that the Best Roof Gas Plant Station, Baruwa, Lagos where last Thursday's gas explosion occurred had no operational licence.
The Director of DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, made the disclosure in a statement while commiserating with the victims of the incident.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that five persons lost their lives in the explosion while eight persons were rescued alive with various degrees of injuries.
A total of 44 buildings were also destroyed in the inferno which started at about 5:40 a.m. when a a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanker was in the process of discharging at the plant located within the densely populated area.
Auwalu said preliminary reports from DPR investigations revealed that the facility was operating without licence and was carrying out illegal operations which resulted in the unfortunate incident.
He promised that DPR would continue to update the public on the progress of its ongoing investigation into the incident.
According to him, the department will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure safe operations of all oil and gas facilities in Nigeria.
To this end, Auwalu said DPR had released guidelines for the establishment and operations of the of downstream gas facilities in the country.
He said it deals with the establishment and operations of LPG refilling plants and retail outlets, auto gas refuelling stations and add-on gas facility and establishment of gas storage and utilisation.
Auwalu stated that the guidelines stipulates the minimum requirements, procedures and conditions to be fulfilled before granting of approvals or licences for the construction, installation, modification, takeover, relocation and operations of downstream gas facilities.
He said that the guidelines were developed to enhance gas penetration and utilisation, enhance operational safety as well as ease of doing business in the oil and gas sector.
Auwalu said that companies intending to establish these facilities must satisfy all necessary requirements stipulated by DPR and obtain the applicable approvals.
According to him, the approvals include Site Suitability Approval, Approval to Construct (ATC), Approval to Install and Licence to Operate.
He said the facilities must also be provided with necessary amenities and equipment like functional automated/manual leak tester, functional fire alarm system, and mounted gas detectors.
The DPR helmsman said they must also have adequate fire water storage and sprinklers, perimeter fence with fire wall amongst others.
He said the objective of the guidelines was to ensure that the baseline standard regarding Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) was achieved and maintained in all the facilities.
Vanguard News Nigeria