Port Harcourt — Two separate spills from the 24″ Ogoda-Brass trunkline and the 10″ Cough creek-Tebidaba pipeline, operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, were caused by equipment failure, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, has said.
The two leaks, which occurred in early May 2020, took place in NAOC’s oilfields in Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa.
The Director General of NOSDRA, Idris Musa, said the agency conducted a JIV to Agip’s 10″ Cough creek-Tebidaba pipeline at Ologbobiri in Southern Ijaw LGA and found the cause to be equipment failure.
Musa also confirmed that officials of the agency also visited the 24″ Ogoda-Brass trunk line site at Okpoama in Brass LGA, where a leak discharged a yet-to-be ascertained volume of crude oil into the environment.
Meanwhile, the people of Okpoama in Brass LGA, have called on the Federal Government to prevail on NAOC to take full responsibility of the widespread oil spill in the area, which has affected the people’s livelihoods.
Chairman, Okpoama Kingdom Oil and Gas Committee, Mr. Percy Wemi-Kwomain, alleged that the NAOC attempted on two occasions to secretly fix the leaking pipeline, without the usual JIV conducted by the relevant authorities concerned.
He explained that the plots by the oil firm were scuttled by youths placed on surveillance in the area, while lamenting that the pipelines which were constructed since 1972, was now obsolete and needs replacement, hence the continuous failures in several points.
According to him, “The oil spill occurred more than two weeks ago and it has discharged enormous amount of crude oil into the adjourning creeks and rivers, thereby affecting the environment and the livelihood of the people of the area.
“Without letting us know they came with a swamp-buggy to fix the leaking point. We stopped them twice before they came to inform us that they want us to join them for the JIV.”