Brussels 04.03.2023 An oil pipeline explosion has killed at least 12 people in Nigeria. According to the first elements of the investigation, the victims were in the process of illegally taking oil on February 3, Friday morning, when a spark would have arisen from their transport vehicle and would have caused the explosion, said the local police.
The accident happened in Rumuekpe, Rivers State on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Nigeria. The death toll is not definitive and is expected to rise further. The damage to the environment is not yet known.
In the past, similar incidents have often resulted in large forest fires and water pollution.
Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest oil producers. However, much of the revenue disappears into the pockets of corrupt government departments. People in the Niger Delta, where most of the oil is produced and where the explosion took place, are generally very poor. Oil production limits opportunities for agriculture and fishing.
Oil theft from pipelines is common. The stolen raw material is often processed in illegal and dangerous refineries. In 1998, over a thousand people lost their lives recovering oil from a damaged pipeline.