Aiteo Oil Company, operator of OML 29, has declared a force majeure on Nembe Creek Trunkline due to a fire incident around NCTL RoW near Awoba area, Rivers State.

The force majeure clause is a standard clause in most contracts and it includes events such as natural disasters, wars and other occurrences not within the power or control of the executing party, that make the implementation of the contract impossible.

According to Aiteo, security agencies have been informed of the fire outbreak by the surveillance team.

Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) is a 97 kilometre, 150,000 barrels of oil per day pipeline which leads to the export terminal at Bonny Island, Rivers state .

A statement by Aiteo spokesman, Ndiana Matthew, claimed the incident was a third-party interference.

"We have been informed of a fire outbreak by our surveillance team comprising the JTF, FSS around NCTL RoW near Awoba today, 21 April 2019," read the statement.

"Our Operations Emergency Response team was immediately activated and following its urgent intervention and containment action, we are constrained to shut in injection as well as other related operations into the NCTL. In accordance with standard procedure, we requested the other injectors to do same.

"The NCTL has, hitherto, enjoyed smooth operations preceding this incident, founding suspicion that this fire may have occurred through an illegitimate, third-party breach of the functionality of the pipeline, critical national asset. In the meantime, the relevant investigations are continuing while further information about the remote and direct causes of the fire will be communicated as soon as these become available. We ask our stakeholders to await further, detailed briefing in due course."

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