Environmental rights group tasks Shell to remediate oil leak site in Bayelsa

Posted by News Express | 12 September 2017 | 1,484 times

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•ERA/FoEN chief Alagoa Morris

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to clean up and remediate an oil leak site from one of its oil fields in Bayelsa

It was gathered that massive volume of crude was discharged into the environment at Tambiri I and II in Tein community, Biseni clan of Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa.

The oil leak occurred on August 11, 2017.

The community alleged that the resultant oil spill and subsequent pollution of the surrounding area was caused by equipment failure.

SPDC’s Media Relations Manager, Mr. Precious Okolobo, in a brief statement denied the oil firm’s complicity in the incident, saying that “the oil well has not been producing oil”.

ERA/FoEN advised the oil firm to visit the spill site rather than dismiss the reports which has been verified by field monitors from the Non Governmental Organisation.

“The shrubs and immediate environment of the wellhead (about 10 meters away) tells the tale that a toxic substance sprayed into the air and they bear testimony,” ERA/FoEN said in a field report which it made available on Sunday to newsmen in Yenagoa after a visit to the impacted site.

ERA in the report signed by Mr Alagoa Morris, its Head of Field Operation in Bayelsa, noted that the swamp was observed to have heavy volume of crude oil.

“No aquatic live would remain in such a heavily polluted environment, including other animals.

“They will die or migrate to other places. A visit to this environment in three months may present an environment with dead trees and shrubs,” the report stated.

The environmental rights group deplored a situation whereby a joint investigation visit, which turned inconclusive, was conducted at the impacted site without involving the community representatives.

ERA urged the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and other oil and gas industry regulators to ensure a transparent resolution of the oil spillage issues.

It called on the SPDC to carry out recovery of spilled crude, clean-up the impacted site “in the interest of the environment” and refrain from applying divide-and-rule approach to the matter.

ERA also advised the concerned land owners near the oilfield and the community to be peaceful while they take all necessary steps to get the oil spillage resolved.

Source: News Express

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