Environmental rights group reports oil spill in Agip’s oil field in Bayelsa

Posted by News Express | 18 May 2015 | 4,372 times

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Environmental Rights Action/Friends of Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has reported an oil spill incident Osiama oil field operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Bayelsa.

According to a field report on the incident, the spill site was discovered by field monitors of ERA/FoEN on April 18, 2015 while investigating another spill incident.

The field report issued today in Yenagoa was signed by Mr Alagoa Morris, Head of Field Operation of ERA/FoEN in Bayelsa.

According to it, “Field monitors of the Environmental Rights Action visited the Ondewari/Okpotuwari environment on Saturday, 18th April, 2015.

“It was for the purpose of visiting a spill impacted site along Agip’s Tebidabe-Ogboinbiri Flow Line.

“However, while in the field, ERA’s guides also informed ERA that there was also another fresh oil spill in the area.

“And so, soon after concluding with the Tebidaba-Ogboinbiri pipeline, ERA was led to the other spill site, some kilometers away.

“This spill under reference occurred at a location opposite the three Oil Wellheads operated by Agip and, across the Osiama Creek; where the pipeline continued.”

The report quoted Omietimi Yeiyei, a local hunter at Ondewari community, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, as discovering the spill sometime in April 2015.

Mr Yeiyei was quoted as saying: “I do hunt with dogs and during one of my hunting expeditions, I noticed someone from a neighbouring community scooping what seemed like crude oil into jerrican and taking it away from the environment.

“So I decided to investigate and that was how we discovered the spill not long ago. I tried to investigate whether there were signs of fresh diggings in the immediate environment but didn’t find any. That is why we thought the spill must have resulted from equipment failure.”

ERA/FoEN regretted that officials of NAOC were yet to take steps to contain the spill several weeks after the spill was reported to them. It urged the management of the company to promptly investigate the spill and ensure a properly constituted JIT visit the site of interest to formally document the incident.

“Agip should follow up JIV with proper clean-up and, where necessary; compensate victims. The Government should play its protective and supervisory role in the interest of the common good,” ERA/FoEN stated.

Mr Iniruo Wills, Bayelsa Commissioner for Environment, said on phone that his ministry has received a report of the incident and dispatched its officials to the spill site.

“We got the report and my people are already working on it, they have actually visited the site and are dealing with some issues that surround the spill,” Wills said.

There was no immediate response from Eni, the Italian energy firm which operates in Nigeria as NAOC.

•Photo shows residents of Osiama community inspecting the Nigerian Agip Oil spill site.

Source: News Express

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