A huge fire exploded near an airstrip in unity oil field on Saturday, shooting thick-dark smoke into the sky.
The fire started in Roria area of Budang County in Northern Liech state.
A video circulating on social media show dense smoke shooting into the air in a rocket-launch fashion.
The cloud of dark smoke was visible from Bentiu town more than 45 kilometers away, according to the Northern Liech state minister of of Physical infrastructure.
Lam Tungwar says the fire was fueled by crude oil leakage which was not noticed by the oil company in the area.
“There is a pipe that busted days ago and nobody knew about it and it actually had a very serious spill, now with the wildfire it caught up with the redundant crude oil on the ground and the fire was escalated,” Lam Tungwar said.
“It was not an explosion in particular but the burning of crude oil that was redundant on the ground which was caused by leakage from oil pipeline,” he added.
The minister says by Sunday afternoon, the fire that started on Saturday was still burning.
“This is something very serious, and with the environment and people and cattle, there will be a lot of effect from this oil spill.”
It is the second reported incident of crude oil leakage in the oil-producing areas this week. Three days ago, there was a reported leakage in Ruweng state.
But this is the third reported incident of oil leakage in Budang County alone this year.
Oil fields there are operated by the Greater Pioneer Operating Company or GPOC. The company is yet to respond to what caused the fire or the alleged spillage.
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