Another oil spill has occurred from a facility operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Bayelsa.
According to sources, the incident happened Saturday, on Agip’s Ogboinbiri Well 7, in Southern Ijaw local government area as crude continues to flood communities.
The spill comes as residents of Ogboinbiri community in Apoi Clan of Southern Ijaw are still disturbed about the heavy volume of crude oil from Nigeria Agip Oil Company facility which flooded their swamps and river around May/June, 2020.
Penultimate week, The New Diplomat reported that an oil spill was recorded in Southern Ijaw from Agip’s flowstations located in Ogboinbiri community.
Confirming the fresh spill, a source said, “I’m currently reaching out to you from Ogboinbiri community. I think we currently have a situation that will interest you now. Just yesterday another spillage occurred in the community. It happened on a wellhead.
“The gushing has stopped but I just can’t tell when it started. I only met the situation when I was coming back from a function in a nearby village. I met the situation when the company was trying to remedy the situation. Even as that, as of today the spread of the oil is felt everywhere on the river.
“It is possible the spill was ongoing for a while before my arrived the scene, but when l got there it was between 4-5pm.
“The problem now is that the camera might not capture the flow on the river very well; yet even as l am communicating with you now, it is still flowing clearly (on the river).”
“This is understandable, as the effect of the Sun would melt the crude oil on the surface of the water.
Another source said: “I heard it happened but cleanup was done immediately with detergent. They said the army with gunboat was used to seal up the area and asked people to stay clear. Yes, confirmed, it occurred on Well 7 at the cluster.
Reacting to this latest development, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FOEN) said the prompt reaction of the facility owner, NAOC was commendable, noting that such incident should have been officially reported to the regulators by the oil industry operator.
“It is also known that sometimes operators fail to inform the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and State ministries of Environment. This might not be an exception, judging from the observed and alleged swift response with detergent.”
From video and clips made available by community contacts, the river still had traces of crude oil Sunday afternoon as the spewing crude oil from the wellhead was with high pressure as at when it was captured yesterday.
ERA/FoEN called on NOSDRA and the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment to “take steps to ensure Agip pays the fine according to the law; if the company failed to duly notify the regulators and trying to dodge responsibility.
“Also, Agip should do a proper cleanup, give relief materials and where necessary, compensate victims of the spills.”