Shell Confirms Huge Leak at Flow Station in Bayelsa

*Hundreds in Peremabiri community thrown into crisis, farmlands, marine environment ruined

Bennett Oghifo

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria yesterday confirmed the October 3 oil spill from its flow station in Peremabiri community, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Several farmlands, including those with economic trees, as well as the marine environment, had been gravely impacted by the oil leak, which the community members believe was caused by equipment failure.

A spokesperson for the SPDC, Michael Adande, said a Joint investigative visit (JIV) to the incident site to unravel the cause and volume of oil discharged into Peremabiri’s land and marine environment was underway.
The JIV is a statutory probe comprising representatives of the operator, host community and regulatory agencies that generate a report to show the cause, extent of pollution after every spill is reported.

“A government-led Joint Investigation Team is currently on a Joint Investigation Visit to the site of the incident to determine the cause and the impact of the incident,” Adande told the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN).
Eleven days back, the leak from the Diebu Creek Flow station, operated by the SPDC in Peremabiri, discharged a yet-to-be ascertained volume of crude oil to adjourning areas of the community and the Nun River.

The Programme Manager, Environmental Right Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Alagoa Morris, in a reaction said the oil leak had polluted the ecosystem.
He said the resultant pollution from the oil spill had adversely affected the predominantly farming and fishing settlements along the banks of River Nun.
Morris, who is also the Technical Adviser to the Bayelsa Governor on Environment, commended the peaceful disposition of the victims in the community.
He urged the regulatory agencies to ensure that the SPDC immediately carries out the required clean-up process to save indigenes of Peremabiri from economic and health challenges.

An impacted farmer, Mrs. Yenimi Timipre, also bemoaned having her fishing gear stained by crude and rendered useless.
Also, the Deputy Woman Leader of Peremabiri, Mrs Favour Morgan, lamented that the spill had destroyed their fishing nets, traps, crops and polluted the whole aquatic environment, and demanded for succour.

“This oil spill has thrown the Peremabiri people into despair. We are into farming and fishing as our means of livelihood and the toxic oil from Shell’s oil field has damaged our livelihood sources.
“We are helpless and in dire need of intervention by way of relief and succour to farmers and fishermen,” Morgan said.

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