Oil spill from a facility operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), has reportedly once again rattled Ikarama community of Okordia Clan, Yenogoa, Bayelsa State.
The incident was said to have occurred on April 9 during a routine operation on the Okordia-Rumuekpe Trunk Line located in the community.
It was gathered that the oil spill incident occurred during a routine flushing operation of the pipelines owned by the Okordia-Rumekpe trunkline.
This much was confirmed to The New Diplomat by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN).
According to the Head of ERA, Bayelsa Office, Mr. Alagoa Morris, the fresh oil spill occurred in Ikarama, about 150 meters away from the site of a previous oil spill which occurred in 2019.
Morris lamented the reoccurrence of oil spills in Ikarama community.
The Ikarama community is known to be one of the most polluted sites in the Niger Delta as the community had recorded several cases of oil spills.
On November 12, 2019, an oil spill had occurred at the Okordia-Rumuekpe pipeline. The investigation of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had pointed out that the oil spill was caused by a corrosion, however, the SPDC rejected the investigation stating that the oil spill was caused by external interference.
Similarly, in 2011, SPDC announced that it recorded six separate oil spill incidents at the Okordia-Rumuekpe trunkline. The incidents occurred between August 2 and August 15.
However, the company, claimed all the six oil spill incidents were caused by unknown persons who vandalized the pipelines.
Meanwhile, Morris, in a statement, lamented the increasing cases of oil spill in Ikarama.
According to him, “it is obvious, by the number of oil spills at this section of the pipeline that, there is need to replace the entire pipeline.”
He also called on Shell to clean up the spills before the rain sets proper, warning that further delay could affect the residents of the area.
The statement reads, “ERA/FoEN received information from contacts in Ikarama of a fresh oil spill along Shell’s Okordia/Rumekpe trunkline or TransNiger Trunk line and promptly visited the site on 9th April, 2021. According to community folks, the spill occurred on 6th April, 2021 as Shell was flushing the pipeline or what was described as pigging.
“The fresh oil spill which occurred about 150 meters from another spill point of 2019, has since been declared as caused by corrosion or equipment failure by the Joint Investigation Team [JIT]. Like the 2019 spill not far from this spill point, the spill occurred at a 6 0′ clock position on the pipeline; directly under the pipe. The spill has affected the nearby swamp, it is expected that Shell would clean up the impacted environment before the rains set in proper.
“ERA/FoEN has documented more than three other spills within this same section of the pipeline in the past, that were all attributed to equipment failure or corrosion.
“It is obvious, by the number of oil spills at this section of the pipeline that, there is need to replace the entire pipeline as Shell once did at JK4 [Edabiri/Betterland] in Ahoada West local government area of Rivers State.”, the statement added.
It would also be recalled that Shell has been associated with several several law suit bordering on oil spillage in some Niger Delta communities.
Recently, a Dutch Appeal Court ruled that the SPDC should pay compensation to four Nigerian farmers for the two oil spills recorded in Goi Community of River States and Oruma Community of Bayelsa State.
The four farmers alongside Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie), had filed a suit against the parent company of SPDC, the Royal Dutch Shell and other subsidiaries over the two oil spills in Rivers and Bayelsa State.
The names of the farmers are Alali Efanga, Friday Alfrad Akpa, Chief Fidelis A. Oguru and Eric Dooh.
However, it took 13 years for the Dutch Appeal Court to deliver its judgement.