About 13 cooking gas stations have been sealed by the Eket Field Office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), for illegal operation.
The Operations Controller of DPR in Akwa Ibom Mr. Victor Ohwodiasa, disclosed this on Thursday in Eket, adding that the stations were sealed in July.
Ohwodiasa added that the cooking gas stations were operating illegally hence their facilities were not licensed by the department in the state.
Ohwodiasa said, “We have identified 13 illegal facilities in the state and we had taken steps to close them down”, adding that the department would sensitise and enlighten the public and operators to safe handling procedures of cooking gas.
He therefore warned cooking gas operators not to operate facilities without licence, noting that any licensed facility by the department must had gone through several safety checks before getting approval.
Ohwodiasa further advised the cooking gas operators to stop the illegal transfer of cooking gas from one cylinder to another.
“For the safety of life and property in Akwa Ibom, we encourage everyone to ensure that we do not compromise those illegal cooking gas facilities that are conducting decanting,” he warned.
According to him, the act was illegal and dangerous, that was why the DPR did not approve facilities to carry out such process.
Also, Ohwodiasa appealed to the public to always buy cooking gas from only the DPR’s licensed facilities.
He also encouraged the public to immediately report any suspected illegal practice by the oil and gas industry to the department.
He informed that the department would set up task force that would conduct routine surveillance to check illegal practice of oil and gas industry in the state.