Shell, community disagree over cause of Bayelsa oil spill

Shell said the spill was caused by sabotage.

The Ikarama Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has disagreed with Shell Petroleum Development Company over the cause of the reported oil spills from nearby oil wells.

The spill has contaminated the Taylor Creek in Yenagoa; and residents of Biseni/JK4 Road told the News Agency of Nigeria that they disagreed that the spills were caused by oil theft.

Officials of Shell’s Oil Spill Response Unit were seen recovering crude discharged into the environment near the company’s Well 2 in Biseni Area.

Ambrose Osuolo, Assistant Secretary, Caretaker Committee of JK4 Edagberi/Betterland Community, said that the people were convinced that that some of the spill points were traceable to equipment failure.

“We noticed the spills on April 30 and Shell came for a joint investigation visit (JIV) on May 3. I represented my community on the JIV, but the investigation was inconclusive due to different views held about the cause of the spill.

“While Shell attributed the cause to sabotage, saying that the pipeline was drilled in, I was not convinced and hence we did not sign the JIV report. Although Shell came purposely for this particular spill, we discovered two more spill points within this Well 2 environment on that same day.

” The affected pipeline conveys crude from Well 2 to the nearby Adibawa Flow-station. We reported to the Bayelsa Ministry of Environment so that the ministry could put pressure on Shell to mop up the spill in the environment,” Mr. Osuolo said.

A Shell spokesman, Precious Okolobo, in a statement on May 6 attributed the spill to sabotage of pipeline by oil thieves.

The statement said that the preliminary findings indicated that the spill, which was caused by the activities of oil thieves, had contaminated the Taylor Creek.

“A joint investigation visit (JIV) was executed and the initial reports indicated that the pipeline was sabotaged by a 20 cm long hacksaw cut.

“SPDC is committed to cleaning up all spills from its facilities as fast as possible regardless of cause. Majority of the spills in the Niger Delta are the result of third party interference,’’ it said.

The statement said that the sabotage included theft of equipment or leaks caused by crude oil thieves who drill into pipelines to steal oil.

“On the average, third party interference accounts for around 73 per cent of all oil spill incidents,” SPDC stated.

Another oil giant, Agip, was compelled to shut down its onshore crude production facilities in Bayelsa due to unsustainable levels of oil theft.

Agip, on March 23, said oil theft from its facilities in the state accounted for a daily loss of 7,000 barrels out of its 40,000 barrels of crude production and declared “force majeure” on its oil output.

Force Majeure is a legal clause that frees an oil firm from crude buyers for failure to meet its supply obligations due to circumstances outside of its control.

(NAN)

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

 

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call Willie - +2347088095401


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.