There has been many reports from different government agents about the poor security measures employed by the oil and gas companies in Nigeria including their environmental pollution that affects the neighboring communities.
It was believed that the poor security measures made the oil companies to be prone to attacks by militants, Avengers and other intruders such as the kidnappers of oil workers. Besides the poor security measures most environmental pollutions occurring in the neighboring communities has been attributed to oil company’s activities.
My visit to a particular flow station (name withheld) located at in a particular local government area of Bayelsa state in Nigeria, has given me a different believe; this is because I saw many security measures that contradicts the initial reports and these measures make it very difficult for someone to enter without being thoroughly checked by the security. Though other flow station case may be different but the major security features I saw are:
- A FENCED FLOW STATION BUILT WITH THICK STEEL WIRES TO ALLOW VISIBILITY OUTSIDE
A steel WIRE OF about 20mm thick was used to fenced the whole part of the flow station living only one exit gate open for anyone entering and leaving the site, the fence was built such that even the staff quarters where the workers lives is also protected by the fence in such a case any intruder must have to come in through the major gate which is highly secured with a team of military personnel with sophisticated fighting ammunitions, so in such way I applaud them for such steps taken ahead of any plan by anyone to attack the flow station.
- A VERY TALL TOWER IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
The security is not restricted to the wire fence alone rather extended to the building of very high security towers about 40 feet tall from the ground in different locations of the flow station and the installation of security cameras in these towers also, different military arms is mounted on those towers such that they can be operated automatically when there is no one in the tower to operate them to shoot in the event of any attack. The amazing things about these towers is the fact that the number covered the whole area of the station giving it a very high security coverage, the tower also serve as another military mounting point where most of the military securing the flow station is permanently stationed.
- SECURITY POST MOUNTED AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS IN THE STATION INCLUDING THE TOWERS
Beside the gate and towers I observe that there are other military post mounted in different places such as the staff quarters gate, the plant entrance gate, and at entrance of the station just before a visitor reaches the gate, this again made me to applaud the oil company in terms of security.
- THOROUGH CHECKING OF EVERY VISITOR ENTERING INSIDE
The flow station was built in such a way that it would be impossible for anyone to come close without being notices afar off by the security such made it impossible for any individual to move around the vicinity anyhow. The military at the gate conducts a thorough check on anyone entering inside the flow station.
- PROHIBITION OF VISITORS THAT ARE NOT INVITED BY ANYONE
Another unique security features is that visitors without invitation or a certain permission is not allowed to gain access into the flow station.
In the aspect of the environment pollution I discovered that the water in the community is not affected by any physical means by the activities of the flow station such that majority of the community drink from the stream water that is flowing with slow but steady current. In the quest to know how this is achievable I discovered the following feature of the company in cubing any practice that could lead to environmental pollution:
- A DISCHARGE PIT IS CREATED BENEATH EVERY VESSEL IN THE FLOW STATION
The vessels installed in the station has its foundation built such that beneath it is a pit that gather all the oil spill in one place and pump is connected such that when the liquid reaches a particular level the pump will automatically start pumping the oil spill to a permanent discharge pit through its hose buried underground.
- AN AUTOMATED ELECTRIC PUMPS ARE CONNECTED IN THE VARIOUS PITS
A pump that is automated and completely controlled by the level of oil spill or water beneath the vessel, it is automated to start pumping the fluid in the pit at a particular level and to stop pumping at a particular level, hence reducing the stress and duty of going to off or on the pumps in the station.
- A LOCATION IS CREATED TO DISCHARGE ANY OIL SPILLAGE VERY FAR FROM THE WATER AREA
A location away from the main plant of the station is being used as a discharge point for the spilled oil, the location is simply a large pit without any concrete wall so as to support the easy drying of the spilled fluids gathered into it from the automated pumps in different vessels of the flow station.