The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has promised to enforce safety practices in tank farms operating in the country, and will not allow it to be compromised.
The disclosure was made by DPR’s Zonal Operations Controller, in Port Harcourt, Mr. Bassey Nkanga, during a tour of tank farms with the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee, on the relocation of tank farms from residential areas.
He said, “DPR will continue to improve, we talk safety and safety is our watchword. The oil and gas industry knows that our vision on safety, cannot be compromised. But in the event of lapses, we allow room for correction until the required compliance level is met in terms of minimum safety requirements.”
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the DPR boss revealed that tank farm operators that are within his jurisdiction, are aware of the safety regulations of the agency.
Nkanga said, “So far, what we saw today is quite commendable, the few lapses detected could be improved upon and I believe that affected companies will also make necessary improvements soon.”
On his own part, the Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Mr. Sergius Age, said that there was a need for collaboration amongst the relevant government agencies.
He said, “When we started this task some months back, the various agencies were actually at each other’s throats. But today, there is better cooperation among them. I believe that by the time we shall be presenting our reports, they will all be working in synergy. Our emphasis has always been on safety compliance. We look forward to having a breakdown on collaboration among relevant agencies, such as the Federal Fire Service, the Nigerian Ports Authority, Federal Ministry of Environment, NIMASA, and others. We are determined to also ensure that operating tank farms, conform to operational guidelines of the DPR. From our findings today, one of the facilities we inspected, we saw about 24 storage tanks sited at close range, we observed issues with their offset that is too close. This simply means that all storage tanks are exposed to possible danger if there is an incident of a fire outbreak. For others, the water sprinkles were not optimally functional and the hydrants were not also as forceful as we expected.”
The Ad-hoc committee chairman pointed out that that tank farm operators should put mechanisms in place to effectively manage some accidents that can occur after official hours.