Activities of crude oil thieves have set fire at Agip oil pipeline at Ubeta in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers.
The field is operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) a subsidiary of Italian Energy firm, Eni.
Ubeta is a border settlement between Bayelsa and Rivers states separated by the Orashi River.
A community source who participated in the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) who wished to remain anonymous for fear of the vandals said the fire which broke out on Friday has, however, been contained.
According to the source, the inferno, which was ignited in the early hours of Friday was finally put off on Sunday by a fire fighting team deployed in the area.
He said that the JIV report concluded that the fire was caused by vandals.
“A joint investigation at the scene of the incident by regulatory agencies, NOSDRA, DPR, Rivers State Ministry of Environment and Community representatives to ascertain the cause of the inferno revealed that it was due to a third party interference.
“An illegal bunkering point was found on the pipeline at the point of the fire and it was being repaired”, said the source.
Residents say the area is notorious for illegal crude refining activities, a development that has made the settlement a target for frequent raid by security agencies.
When contacted for comments on the development, Marilia Cioni, Regional External Communication Advisor, in charge of Sub Saharan Africa at Eni, the parent company of NAOC said the company would soon speak on the incident.