08 July 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – ITALIAN oil major Eni said on Sunday that an oil spill on its Nembe-Obama pipeline in the onshore Niger Delta was due to sabotage.
“Already this morning repair work has started. The wells of Nembe South have been closed with a minimal impact on production,” Reuters quoted a spokesman for the company as saying on the spill, which occured on the pipeline owned by its subsidiary, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The oil spill was reported on Friday in the coastal communities of Sabatoru and Igbeta-Ewoama in Nembe local government area of Bayelsa State, disrupting the fishing and economic activities of the people.
According to sources from the coastal communities, the spill, from a trunkline linking the Brass export terminal, has spread to the waterways, creeks and farms along the Nembe Kingdom.
Chairman of the Oil and Gas Committee of Nembe Kingdom, Chief Nengi James in a statement on Saturday confirmed the development and accused the oil major of adopting a delay tactics for prompt clean up operation.
He said: “Having visited the affected sites, it is indeed sad and most unfortunate that in spite of the huge consequences occasioned by the oil spill, Agip has failed to liaise with the Nembe Kingdom Oil and Gas Committee to discuss how clean-up could be done.
“It is instructive to note that multi-national companies operating in the Niger Delta region have often employed delay tactics in dealing with oil spillages. They allow the oil spill to spread to rivers and mangrove forest before coming for inspection and clean-ups.
“While frowning on such lackadaisical and irresponsible attitude by Agip and others, we wish to state that an issue like this is capable of punctuating the cordial relationship between Agip and Nembe Kingdom.”