The Department of Petroleum Resources, Eket Field Office, has explained that it sealed 13 cooking gas stations in July for illegal operation.
Mr Victor Ohwodiasa, the Operations Controller of DPR in Akwa Ibom, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Eket on Thursday.
Ohwodiasa said the cooking gas stations were operating illegally and their facilities were not licensed by the department in the state.
“We have identified 13 illegal facilities in the state and we had taken steps to close them down,” he said.
He said the department would sensitise and enlighten the public and operators to safe handling procedures of cooking gas.
Ohwodiasa warned cooking gas operators not to operate facilities without licence.
He noted that any licensed facility by the department must had gone through several safety checks before getting approval.
Ohwodiasa advised the cooking gas operators to stop decanting, (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 said.
Ohwodiasa said the practice was illegal and dangerous, that was why the DPR did not approve facilities to carry out such process.
He appealed to the public to always buy cooking gas from only the DPR’s licensed facilities.
Ohwodiasa also encouraged the public to report suspected illegal practice by the oil and gas industry to the department.
He noted that the department would set up task force to conduct routine surveillance to check illegal practice of oil and gas industry in the state.