Press Release: CRUDE OIL SPILL ALERT: AN OIL SPILL HAS OCCURRED ON SPDC PIPELINE IN RIVERS STATE
Press Release V 20-01-2024
CRUDE OIL SPILL ALERT: AN OIL SPILL HAS OCCURRED ON SPDC PIPELINE IN RIVERS STATE
The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria) has confirmed a crude oil spill on a pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Ltd. in Rivers State.
According to members of the Advocacy Centre’s Youth Volunteers Network, under the auspices of the Centre’s Crude Oil Spill Alert System (COSAS), the spill occurred on Friday, January 19, 2024, on the Obolo-Ogale, (close to Ebubu Community) Shell’s pipeline right of way.
The network and community members who reported the oil spill incident to the Executive Director of Advocacy Centre in the early hours of Saturday, January 20, 2024, said Shell was on the pipeline in December 2023 carrying out some maintenance work to change some old pipes laid over six decades ago, and along the way, their excavators must have punctured some pipes unknowingly to them as the pipeline was shut down from crude oil transportation during the period of the maintenance work.
Believing that the maintenance work has been completed successfully, Shell, on Friday, January 19, three days after it announced the agreed sale of its onshore facilities in Nigeria to Renaissance for over $1.3 billion, commenced the transportation of crude oil through the pipeline, leading to leakage and massive crude oil spills into the environment.
From photographs sent to YEAC-Nigeria showing the spill point and heap of sand, the evacuated points were yet to be covered, and crude oil was noticed oozing and pumping out of the pipeline under the ground uncontrollably till the time of this report as also seen in the videos shared.
It is important to note that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found benzene, a cancer-causing agent, 900 times above the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended standard in underground water in Nsisioken-Ogale due to underground crude oil spills, as published on August 4, 2011 by UNEP in the Ogoni Environmental Assessment Report currently being implemented by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
SPDC is also currently in court in the UK with Ogale over multiple crude oil spills in the community, with more pollution still taking place like this.
Advocacy Centre called on the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to immediately carry out a joint investigation visit (JIV) to the site, determine the cause of the spillage, and invoke relevant sections of the Petroleum Industry Action (2021) to ensure that the community and its people are paid adequate compensation and the spill is cleaned up with a view to restoring the environment before the exit of SPDC following its ongoing plans to divest its onshore facilities in Nigeria and escaping from the pollution footprints and liabilities of its decades of oil exploration in the Niger Delta.
Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface,
Executive Director, YEAC-Nigeria,