The rig, working for Chevron Nigeria Limited, is now partially submerged but continues to burn on Block 86 in the Funiwa field.
Director general of the Nigerian National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Peter Idabor, said some community leaders in Bayelsa State have complained that oil from the accident was already ashore and polluting the environment.
This is also based on a report from NOSDRA’s deputy director, who was part of a helicopter fly over the burning rig together with officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Chevron on Wednesday.
Idabor said: “A crude oil spill from the facility was spotted by the surveillance around the KS Endeavor and along the shoreline,” adding: “This is a very serious explosion. You have drilling fluids and oil seen around the rig itself.”
He stated that complaints have been received by his agency from government officials in some parts of Bayelsa state about pollution washing ashore.
“There are several communities already impacted,” he claimed. “The first one is Koloma towns 1 and 2, the second one is Fishtown and the third is Frupa.”
On Tuesday Chevron had confirmed that “a small sheen was visible in close proximity to the (affected) well,” estimating the sheen at 13 barrels.