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ERA/FoEN demands remediation of oil spill site in Bayelsa community

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The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to immediately end oil spills caused by leaks on its pipeline at Taylor Creek oilfields in Bayelsa State.

ERA/FoEN also aksed industry regulators, especially the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Bayelsa State Ministry of the Environment (BSMoE) to investigate the matter.

It said that site visits to the impacted area by its field monitors in October last year showed that the leak was caused by vandalism, which occurred around September 2019.

The group made the call in its field report signed by its Head of Field Operations, Alagoa Morris and made available to newsmen in Yenagoa yesterday.

It noted that the pipeline breach by suspected vandals since September 2019 have been left to wreak havoc to the environment and residents near the oilfield operated by NAOC.

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The group said although it condemns vandalism and attacks on oil installations, its devastating effect on the environment, made their demand imperative.

“In as much as ERA/FoEN is not in support of attacks on oil facilities and condemns the act, it is incumbent on the facility’s owner to take the necessary action and promptly too.

“This is where Agip should take responsibility for not clamping the ruptured spot and allowing condensate, crude oil and gas to continuing spewing for seven months.

“Whatever steps Agip might have taken, provided this spot has been left bubbling for over half a year makes the company culpable.

“If the company has a reputation of not fixing equipment failure incidents for up to two months, then this is not about the cause of incident, but a corporate attitude which needs to change,” the report stated.

ERA/FoEN, an environmental rights advocacy group, urged NAOC to take responsibility for the unclamped ruptured spot along the company’s pipeline in the Taylor Creek field.

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It also requested that NAOC should take immediate steps by moblising to site and clamp the ruptured spot on its pipeline and cleanup the impacted environment.

“The industry regulators, especially NOSDRA, DPR and BSMoE should investigate this matter. They should follow up to ensure that Agip does the needful.

“The Bayelsa State Ministry of Agriculture should also begin to take interest in how farmlands and fishing environment are impacted by pollutants for the common interest.

“The Yenagoa Council Area should follow up and not only document such incidents, but also do the needful in terms of stakeholders engagement, including communities, security agencies, NGOs and the Media,” ERA/FoEN said.

When contacted for comments on inquiries from the media in their host environment, officials of Agip, as usual, declined to respond to the incident.

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