A non-governmental organisation known as Oil and Gas Producing Areas
Enlightenment and Empowerment Initiative, OGPAEEI, has petitioned the
National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, for proper
remediation process over an oil spill which occurred in Otuokpoti
community in Bayelsa State, 2016.
Recall that a massive oil leak from an oilfield operated by both the
Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and the Nigeria Agip Oil
Company, NAOC, had on 2nd November 2016, discharged an unquantified
volume of crude into Ekoli Creek around Agbura and Otuokpoti
communities in Ogbia and Yenagoa Local Government Areas of Bayelsa
Community residents had claimed that crude oil deposits from the
spillage, measured about five centimetres thick on the surface of the
water, destroyed farmlands and aquatic lives in the communities.
SPDC had on November 7, 2016, through its Spokesman, Mr. Precious
Okolobo, confirmed the spill and said the source of the oil leak that
polluted Otuokpoti communities in Bayelsa was being investigated.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) is
investigating reports of a leak around Otuokpiti community waterfront
situated downstream the Ekoli River, where a section of SPDC’s Nun
River-Kolo Creek Pipeline is buried.
Preliminary site visits did not indicate any spill. SPDC has, however,
shut the pipeline as a precautionary measure pending further
investigation,” SPDC had said.
But OGPAEEI, in the petition made available to newsmen, said that
while the spill had polluted the Ekoli River and spread the oil
discharge across communities along its bank, SPDC restricted its
community engagement to Otuokpoti community excluding other
OGPAEEI in its petition addressed to the Director-General of NOSDRA,
Dr. Peter Idabor dated Dec. 24, 2018, maintained that SPDC’s response
to the incident fell short of industry standards as spelled out in the
NOSDRA Act, and urged NOSDRA to compel the oil firm to comply with
industry standards in the spill.
The group further urged NOSDRA to compel SPDC to, as a matter of
urgency, deploy spill response and containment teams for clean up and
remediation of polluted sites, for short and long term, to bring
lasting relief to the impacted communities
This spill affected more than 500 communities in Ogbia, Nembe, Brass,
and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas LGAs of Bayelsa. This is more
so because these areas are in ebbs and tides within the floods plain.
We have not seen and felt a proper procedure of contentment and
mitigation of this spill by following international best practices, we
have also not seen a report of this spill to appropriate agencies of
the Federal Government.
There was no comprehensive physical ecological and social mapping of
the affected areas and ecosystems, we are yet to see any report of
NOSDRA and its participation in containment and mitigation of short
and long time impact.
Our call, therefore, is for NOSDRA to compel SPDC to involve the
regulatory agency namely NOSDRA and other agencies involved in spill
monitoring and management in the site visit to impacted areas.
We call for immediate comprehensive and holistic mapping of the
impacted area in Yenagoa, Ogbia, Nembe, Brass and Southern LGAs, a
Joint Investigation Visit could still be done to meet international
best practices,” the group said in the petition.
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