Clean-up yet to begin at Shell’s Kolo creek spill site
THE Management of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has yet to start clean up of oil leak from its Kolo Creek Manifold. The leak within the Kolo creek oil field operated by SPDC in Bayelsa State discharged yet to be ascertained volume of crude blend into the environment on April 15, 2015.
A visit to the site on Monday by our correspondent indicates that oil spill response workers deployed to halt the spill had left the site while clean up activities were yet to start.
A Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) conducted by officials of SPDC, Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, community representatives and oil industry regulators on April 16 concluded that the spill was caused by sabotage.
A statement from SPDC’s spokesman, Joseph Obari, said the leak was detected on April 15, 2015. “A leak was detected today, April 15, 2015 on the SPDC JV Kolo Creek Manifold.
The leak has been stopped and our Oil Spill Response team deployed to the site to contain it. A Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) will be conducted to confirm the cause of the spill,” Obari said.
It was also gathered that representatives of the community and officials of SPDC held divergent views over the cause of the spill during the Joint Investigative Visit.
A community representative who participated in the JIV, who wished to remain anonymous said that the community believes that the sabotage was a fall out of negligence by surveillance staff of the oil firm. The disagreement has stalled plans to immediately commence clean up of the impacted site after the leakage was stopped.
“We are not accepting the theory of sabotage at all, that facility is a restricted area and well fortified, we believe that it is the responsibility of Shell to protect their facility and if they are negligent on this they should be held liable . “Sabotage has to be defined, it cannot be used loosely to cover up the negligence of the oil firm.
We do believe it is negligence and not sabotage . “The spill had wrecked havoc and destroyed surrounding farmlands and plantain plantations in the community, we must resolve who bears responsibility for all these before clean up can start,” the source said. Bayelsa Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Iniruo Wills, visited the spill site before the JIV on April 15 with officials of the ministry and civil society organisations for on-the-spot assessment. SPDC’s spokesman said that the oil firm would issue a statement on the JIV soon.