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Five dead after pipeline explosion in Nigeria

20 January 2020

An explosion and fire on a pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria killed five people and injured dozens on January 19. According to authorities, the blaze broke out after oil thieves ruptured the pipeline when trying to steal oil.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

The pipeline is owned by Nigeria’s state oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Explosions and fires are relatively common in Nigeria due to repeated attempts by thieves to break into pipelines and steal oil and petroleum products.

The NNPC said it is continuing to work with security agencies to prevent these incidents from occurring. Pipeline vandalism has plagued the Nigerian oil industry for many years. A report published by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in December 2019 revealed that crude oil and refined products worth $41.9 billion were stolen in Nigeria between 2009 and 2018.

As well as vandalism, Nigeria has also suffered from sabotage in the oil-rich Niger Delta region due to militant activity in the area. In recent months, the country has been able to boost its crude oil production by tackling these militants, but vandalism and attempted oil thefts continue to be an issue.


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