Shell pledges to clean up spill sites in Bayelsa

Oil spill impact09 May 2013, Yenagoa – The Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, says it would clean up the oil spill sites in Ikarama area of Yenagoa.

A statement signed by the SPDC spokesman, Mr Precious Okolobo, in Yenagoa confirmed that a joint investigation visit of the site was conducted on April 30.

The statement said that the preliminary findings indicate that the spill was caused by activities of oil thieves, and had contaminated the Taylor Creek in Bayelsa.

“A Joint Investigation Visit, JIV, was executed on April 30 and the initial reports indicate 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 include theft of equipment or leaks caused by crude oil thieves drilling into pipelines to steal oil.

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

“Also, around 76 per cent of all oil volume spilled from SPDC facilities in the Niger Delta over the last five years (2008-2012) are as a result of oil theft,” it said.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the residents along the Biseni/JK4 Road of yenagoa, said that they had sighted three different spill points within the area.

Oil spill response workers from Shell were seen with a vacuum truck near the well 2 in Biseni sucking up the oil from the waterways.

It will be recalled that Agip was compelled to shut down its onshore crude production facilities in Bayelsa due to the high levels of oil theft.

Mr Morris Alagoa, an environmental rights activist, urged SPDC to ensure international best practises in the clean-up of the spill sites.

Alagoa is also the Head of Bayelsa Office of Environmental Rights Action, an NGO.

He called for the participation of the communities impacted by the Taylor Creek spill incident in the joint investigation, adding that the report should be made public.

He further appealed to oil industry regulators to reduce the impact of oil spills on the environment.

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