By NBF News

Fear has gripped oil companies operating in Bayelsa State as an explosion rocked the oil facility of the Italian oil giant, ENI group in Nembe Local Government Area.

According to investigations, the 18-inch pipeline was said to have been blown up with dynamite by unknown people fueling panic over the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region. A loud explosion was said to have shattered the serenity of area where the pipeline link supply to Brass. The explosion led to a huge fire causing pandemonium among the people in the communities around the area. The burst pipeline has also caused major leaks into the creeks.

An official of Eni, however, said the company was on top of the situation as the incident was a small one and the company does not plan to declare any force majeure on its oil export.

However, speaking, the executive Chairman of Nembe Local Government, Chief Waribugo Sylva in an interview said investigation has commenced on the source of the explosion. He said the primary aim now is to safeguard the lives of people in the communities in the area and salvage the ecology which is under serious threat.

He said: 'Yes there was an explosion, the people around the area heard an explosion and there was fire. The cause of the explosion is yet to be determined. Whether it is sabotage or not is yet to be ascertained. Our main focus now is to save the lives of the people around the area.  Many of them have fled because of the incident. Also the ecology has been destroyed. This is our major concern for now'

Checks at the headquarters of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) indicated that the security outfit has commenced investigations into the incident. Sources at the JTF office said the security outfit would conclude investigations into the incident before going to the public.

The source said its men around the area where the explosion was reportedly to have taken place have been mandated to go and get first hand information.