The National Assembly Ad hoc committee on tank farm relocation has advised operators on proper documentation and safety adherence in line with operational guidelines of the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR).
Mr Sergius Ogun Chairman of committee gave the advice during a stakeholders/technical session of the committee on Friday in Port Harcourt.
The committee, as part of oversight function visited 18 tank farms in Port Harcourt zone of the DPR.
While expressing concern over irregularities on documentation especially with regulatory agencies of the state and federal governments, Ogun said committee has invited some operators for further document regularisation.
“Out of 18 tank farms visited in Port Harcourt zone, 13 of them have been invited to Abuja on issues bothering on documentation. That does not mean that these tank farms are operating illegally.
“For Instance, while the State Ministry of Urban and Regional Planning alleged that affected companies were not given operational permit the companies on the other hand had claimed that they had federal permits.
“So what we are doing is to close the gap by ensuring that they regularise these documents which our sub committee has meticulously checked.
“This is to ensure that the State Urban and Regional Planning is not completely left out as this was a major reason for some unethical practices by some downstream operators.
He stressed that failure to ensure proper document regularisation may lead to ban on affected companies.
“We do not benefit anything from such ban, that’s why we encourage them to ensure a safe business environment,” he added.
However, Mr Bassey Nkanga, Port Harcourt Zonal Operations Controller of DPR, said that the department would not shift grounds on matter of safety.
“In the downstream, safety is a top priority and all operators are expected to at least meet our minimum safety requirements before getting approvals from us,” he said.
According to him, an audit o the farms have been concluded and findings appropriately communicated.
“During our tour with the lawmakers, I wouldn’t say that the 18 tank farms so far visited scored a 100 per cent but a lot of them had above minimum safety requirements and for the few lapses observed, we will ensure corrections as soon as possible,” he said.
Nkanga also said that the Department was conscious about continuous improvement to enable it meet the demands of new technology.
“The oil and gas industry is a dynamic industry, with new technologies emerging on daily basis. DPR has continued to encourage operators to upgrade to new technologies,” he said.