Port Harcourt — Fresh oil spills from well 24 in Opukushi, operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, has rocked Egbemo-Angalabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The spill which has flooded the surrounding creeks and waterways, occurred since last weekend, while a joint inspection visit took place today.
However, at the time of filing this report, the quantity and cause of the spills are yet to be ascertained, as the JIV report was not signed due to disagreement on the cause of the spills, among officials of NOSDRA, DPR, SPDC, civil society groups and community representatives.
Speaking on the development, a civil society group who was part of the JIV team, the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, YEAC, confirmed that the JIV report was not sign due to conflicting resolutions from the stakeholders.
Executive Director of YEAC, Mr. Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said whilst officials of NOSDRA held that the spills was caused by equipment failure, DPR and SPDC fingered third-party interference.
Fyneface assured that Advocacy Centre’s officers in Bayelsa State have been mandated to follow up on the development, and would give more details as the event unfolds.
“The official JIV report is not yet out as it was not signed at the site as supposed, because of conflicting resolution and disagreements among parties about the cause of the spillage, as the spill site is said to have been tempered with.
“However, majority including NOSDRA are concluding and saying it is equipment failure except the representative of DPR arguing that it is third party interference.
“Meanwhile, yesterday, Advocacy Centre received calls from the community that Shell staff were at the spillage site alone and they suspected that they were tempering with evidences ahead of the JIV scheduled for today.
“YEAC is thus not surprised to hear of the alleged tempering with evidences at the spill site as observed today, leading to disagreements among parties as reported by Advocacy Centre’s team to the spillage site with others for the JIV.”