Oil spill: Ex-commissioner urges Shell to compensate Bayelsa communities

The immediate past Commissioner for Environment in Bayelsa, Mr Iniruo Wills, has appealed to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to compensate Bayelsa communities for the Seibou oil spillage of 2015.

Wills told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that Shell should adopt the industry’s best practices on the issue and compensate Keme-Ebiama and Azagbene communities.

Wills, who led a team of investigators on a visit to the site on Feb. 10, 2015, shortly after the spillage, said that the spillage was beyond the tolerable limits for oil discharge.

“I am wondering why the oil firm is reluctant to adopt best practices.

“The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had also recommended compensation.

“To say that the Seibou spills, by its volume, spread and location, did not affect the host and neighbouring communities, was not correct,” he said.

NAN reports that NOSDRA had directed SPDC to compensate communities affected by the oil spillage.

The Director-General of NOSDRA, Mr Peter Idabor, had told NAN that the agency established that the spill made an impact and, therefore, recommended compensation for the victims.

On March 5, 2015, Shell confirmed spilling of some 550 barrels of crude oil into the Ogboinbiri River.

According to the company the spill was from its underwater line within its oil fields in Ogboinbiri River in Bayelsa.

However, the SPDC Spokesman, Mr Joseph Obari, was quoted as saying in a statement that the discharge of the crude on Jan. 23, 2015, had no effect on the environment.


Source: The Guardian

Fresh oil spill hits Ibeno communities in Akwa Ibom

Fresh oil spills suspected to emanate from American giant oil facility- ExxonMobil have hit more than 10 communities situated on the Ibeno shoreline in Akwa Ibom.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, a youth leader in the community, Godwin Robert, secretary of Ulok Ulok People’s Assembly, lamented that the oil spill case was the sixth this year and is destroying the environment.

He attributed the cause of the oil spill to the recent repairs of pipeline destroyed by the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, some months ago.

Mr. Robert expressed disappointment in the way the multinational oil company was treating the issue without regards to the hardship caused by the spillage.

He said that it was unfortunate that the spill has impacted negatively on the ecosystem in the affected communities.

“I am not surprised because the company is trying to fix Edoho pipelines destroyed by NDA. I expected this to happen because there is no how they will fix the pipeline without oil spill occurring,’’ Robert said.

He disclosed that the oil spill was traced to ExxonMobil installations located at Okposo, Atia, Western end and Eastern end of Ibeno communities.

Robert called on the company as a matter of urgency to commence a thorough clean up .

“We expect them to promptly respond by calling the necessary authorities to do thorough investigation to ascertain the level of impact and damage to the community,” he said.

He urged ExxonMobil to constitute Joint Investigation Team (JIT), to expedite action on the clean-up exercise.

Also speaking, Harry Moses, President of the group said that the communities discovered the oil spill on December13, 2016.

He said the development had caused hardship to the fishermen, farmers and people of the state, adding that fishermen are seriously affected by the oil spill.

“The problem with oil spill is that , sometimes you quickly notice where oil flows from and sometimes you don’t know. Sometimes the oil can also come from other locations.

“But this particular oil spill is from ExxonMobil facility,” Mr. Moses said.

He advised the company to urgently meet with the stakeholder s in the host communities to clean up the oil spill.

“Oil spill have affected the economy of Ibeno and the economic situation is appalling,” Mr. Moses said.

NAN reports that there has been six cases of oil spillage suspected to be from ExxonMobil facility in 2016.

The Manager, Media and Communications of Exxon-Mobil, Ogechukwu Udeagha, was not available for comments. Calls to his mobile phone and text messages were not answered.

MOSOP mulls reassessment of polluted sites in Ogoniland

Citing delay in the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) is contemplating reassessing the polluted sites to determine the extent of their contamination.


To this end, the movement is to meet with indigenes on the governing council of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) for proper briefing.


The spokesperson to MOSOP president, Bari-ara Kpalap, who spoke with The Guardian, said: “The UNEP report was submitted in 2011. It is almost six years and there is no way the situation in 2011 will remain same. What it means is that the level of contamination is far higher now. And that means that there is need for a reassessment of the area to determine the exact state of pollution.”

He regretted that the communities were still drinking contaminated water after the global agency had certified presence of hydrocarbon and benzene due to helpnessness.


“The Ogoni people are deeply worried that nothing is happening concerning this whole clean-up exercise, especially after the flag-off had been concluded. They are disturbed that the pollution is not abating. You can imagine what is happening to our health and survival. We are deeply worried that we are not seeing anything on ground to indicate that the implementation has actually begun,” he lamented.


Kpalap went on: “Our survival has been compromised as a result of this delay. Our underground and surface waters remain contaminated, yet we do not have an alternative. We are drinking the contaminated water. The consequence is that we are dying and suffering ailments.”


He revealed that land had been made available for the establishment of the Centre of Excellence and Soil Management, one of the key recommendations of the report.


Kpalap added that the governing council of HYPREP was to pick a suitable location for the centre.

How Shell’s Oil Spill Destroys Our Livelihood- Nigerian Farmers

Some farmers affected by the April 15 oil leak from Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC’s Kolo Creek oil fields in Otuasega, Bayelsa, have complained over alleged neglect by the company.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria in Otuasega on Sunday that the team on a Joint Investigation Visit, JIV, to the oil spill sites did not visit their farms affected by the oil spill.According to the farmers, they made efforts to draw the attention of the team to their farms but to no avail. Florence Ako, whose plantain farm is near the Kolo Creek manifold, said that the crude oil from the manifold spread into her farm and damaged the crops,. “The damage caused by the oil on our farmlands, is visible for all to see and this is happening so close to the harvest time,” she said.

“It is on this farm that I and my husband depend, to feed and train our children in school; my husband’s farm on the other side was equally affected.

“Unfortunately the JIV team did not come to this side and we came around to show them our farms but they did not listen to us.

“They have abandoned the oil residues and there was no oil recovery and clean-up done here.”

Corroborating his wife’s statement, Olei Ako said his banana and plantain plantations were affected. He said that they had reported their plight to the Bayelsa Government and appealed that it prevailed on the oil company to clean up their farms.A fish farmer, Badigigha Igbodo, said the spill, which contaminated his fish pond and others belonging to his colleagues, wiped out all the fish.

According to Mr. Igbodo, the spill had destroyed the means of livelihood of over 50 farmers in the area. Reacting to the complaints, Iniruo Wills, the Bayelsa Commissioner for Environment, said that the state government would verify the reported exclusion of some impacted sites. “We have to verify the information and if it is true that the impacted area was larger than what was originally captured, we shall find a way of addressing these concerns.

“Nobody can hide under the cover of technicalities to say that an area that is really affected, will not be captured,” Mr. Wills said.

However, Precious Okolobo, Head of Media Relations in SPDC, said that the oil firm stood by the report of the JIV team, which stated that the spill was as a result of sabotage. Mr. Okolobo maintained that when a spill was caused by sabotage, the oil company was not liable to compensate for the loss. “Under Nigerian oil and gas regulations, the JIV determines the cause and impact of spill incidents.

“The investigation team which visited the site of the Kolo Creek spill on April 16, concluded that it was caused by sabotage,” he said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Oil Spill: Shell to Pay Ogoni Community N16.6bn

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, yesterday said it has agreed to pay the Bodo Community in Ogoniland, Rivers State, the sum of £55 million (about N16.6 billion) (N300 to £1) as compensation for damages caused by two oil spills in 2008.

Shell said in a statement made available to Vanguard that the bulk of the money, about £35 million will, be paid to individuals who agree on the settlement terms, while the balance of £20 million will be for the benefit of the general community.

According to Shell, “… a £55 million settlement agreement with the Bodo community in respect of the two highly regrettable operational spills in the area in 2008. “The £55 million settlement provides for an individual payment to each claimant who accepts the settlement agreement in compensation for losses arising from the spills, amounting to up to £35 million in total.

“The remaining £20 million payment will be made for the benefit of the Bodo community generally.”

Read More: www.vanguardngr.com

Shell says 2008 Nigeria Spills Bigger than Thought

Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that two 2008 oil spills in Nigeria were larger than earlier thought, ahead of a compensation court case in England’s High Court.

 The Anglo-Dutch energy giant’s Nigerian arm said in a statement that the spills had been greater than the previously-reached total figure of 4,144 barrels.

Lawyers bringing a compensation bid for 15,000 members of Nigeria’s Bodo community have in the past claimed the spills could be as large as 600,000 barrels.

Shell did not give a revised figure but a spokesman said the volume would not be a “key issue” in determining compensation. The compensation case is expected to be heard at the High Court in London next year. The two sides failed to agree a compensation deal in 2013.

Leigh Day, the legal firm for the Bodo community, says the local environment was devastated by the two spills, depriving thousands of subsistence farmers and fishermen of their livelihoods.

“From the outset, we’ve accepted responsibility for the two deeply regrettable operational spills in Bodo,” said a spokesman for the Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria (SPDC).

“We want to compensate fairly and quickly those who have been genuinely affected and to clean up all areas where oil has been spilled from our facilities.”

He said that following the spills, a team involving government agencies, the SPDC and representatives from the Bodo community visited the sites and completed a joint investigation.

“They estimated that the total volume of oil spilled was in the region of 4,144 barrels,” the spokesman said.

“As part of the litigation process, we asked satellite remote sensing experts, hydrologists and specialists in mangrove ecology to assess how the Bodo waterways and mangroves were impacted and other relevant information addressing the question of the volume of these spills and the extent of the damage.

“Having reviewed their findings, we accept that the total volume of oil released as a result of the two operational spills is likely to have exceeded the joint investigation visit estimates.”

SPDC was prepared to compensate all members of the Bodo community who have been “genuinely” affected by the spills, the spokesman said.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest crude producer, but much of the Niger Delta oil region remains deeply impoverished.

Decades of spills have caused widespread pollution in the region.

Last year, Leigh Day claimed independent experts had estimated the two spills in the cluster of fishing communities in Rivers state to have been between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels.

Human rights group Amnesty International, citing an independent assessment published by US firm Accufacts Inc., claimed that the total amount of oil in the first spill exceeded 100,000 barrels.

Shell has “dramatically underestimated the spills,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty’s director for global issues.

Credit: Yahoo News