The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has threatened to suspend companies or depots who fail to adhere to the agency’s safety regulations within their operations.
DPR’s Head, Public Affairs, Mr Paul Osu, said on Monday in Lagos that the agency had safety compliance guidelines that must be complied with by the companies and depots.
A fire had on Sept. 11 gutted the loading section of the Apata Ibadan depot of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
However, Osu said the guidelines were important to protect oil facilities from being engulfed by fire and also to ensure standard best practices in the downstream sector.
According to him, non-compliance can attract suspension of companies or depots from operating or total withdrawal of its operational licences.
“All depot owners must have water sprinklers installed at the loading gantry, product pump house and on all storage tanks.
” They must have oil-water separator installed in facility to separate oil and water spill for quality assurance.
“The depot owners and oil facilities must have lightening arrestors with a large radius coverage meters that could cover the facility installed.
“They must have fire extinguishers of various types strategically positioned within the facility operational and administrative areas,” he said.
Osu added that the safety compliance measure stipulates that every depot must have safety kits and own a functional fire truck, which are mandatory requirements by the agency.
He said the DPR ensured safety and safe operations at the depot right from the time when a company applied for approval to construct, through construction phase and when it was fully operational.
“We ensure that all depots are built based on well reviewed plans that conform with the highest industry safety standards.
” DPR staff is incorporated in the depot project to ensure that it is built according to the approved designs as submitted and vetted by both the DPR and the state’s planning authority
“At completion a joint inspection is conducted to ensure that all safety facilities and equipment are in place.
“The equipment are tested and depot safety staff mobilised and interviewed to make sure that both equipment and personnel are adequate in case of emergency,” Osu added.
He said the DPR also hold periodic meetings with depot owners and managers to review their operations and exchange ideas on how to improve safety in their facilities.
“During operational phase, we station permanent DPR staff at the depot to ensure that operations are conducted as provided under the Mineral Oil Safety Regulations (MOSR) and other regulatory guidance on safe operations of depots.
“Also, we deliberately pegged depot license to one year in order to ensure that we have at least one very comprehensive review of a depot’s operation annually before we renew its operation license,” Osu said.