08 March 2012, Sweetcrude, YENAGOA — Indigenes of Bayelsa communities affected by the January 16, Chevron Nigeria Limited rig gas explosion on the Atlantic fringe of Southern Ijaw local government area have raised a fresh alarm over an alleged noticeable strange emission from the sea, close to the site of the rig.
Though the fire had ceased Friday, the natives expressed fear that the emissions from the site and strong gaseous odor could be more dangerous than the past raging fire.
Chevron in a statement, said “it has detected no natural gas flowing from the well since the fire ceased burning and is monitoring the area continuously. Chevron will continue to drill the relief well to permanently plug and abandon Funiwa 1A.”
But leaders of the affected communities, dismissed Chevron’s claim, alleging that a strange gas bubble from the deep waters was emitting gaseous smell that “is causing irritation to indigenes of the communities.”
The leaders of the affected communities of Koluama II & II and six others, who spoke when Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Matters, Mr Kingsley Kuku, said though the fire had been put out by the oil company, there was a noticeable bubble of gas leaking into the waters in the area.