10 July 2013, Yenagoa – Barely three weeks after a gas leak from an Agip oil field led to an exodus of members of the Ogboinbiri community in Southern Ijaw local government area in Bayelsa State, another leak from an Agip oil field in Ikarama, near Taylor Creek in Yenogoa municipality, is causing pollution and deep concern to residents of the affected area.
“We do not know the cause of the spill,” one resident disclosed, adding, “you can see that it is not easy to get close to the spill point because of the way the whole environment is covered with crude oil fumes. Hence one cannot even guess the cause.”
At the spill site, it was observed that crude oil was flowing and seeping into the grass.
Contacted by our correspondent, Tajudeen Adigun, a public affairs official at Agip, declined to comment. He said inquiries should be directed to Agip Oil’s Managing Director in Abuja.
Alagoa Morris, the head of field operations for Environmental Rights Action in Bayelsa, said the community had witnessed numerous spills in the recent past, adding that the environment was badly affected and needed urgent remediation. Mr. Morris called on Agip to lessen the pressure on the pipelines in order to reduce the discharge into the atmosphere.
According to him, residents of the affected communities had expressed their readiness to cooperate with Agip to end the frequent spills and address the issue of oil theft, but he regretted that the oil firm had yet to agree to any sustainable and workable plan.
*Environmental Rights Action