There’s uneasy calm in Ewelesuo community of Nembe Local
Government Area of Bayelsa State following the deployment of armed security to
the site of the oil flow station and oil well 64, over the massive spillage
reported from the pipelines of the company in the area.
The oil spill, reported
in the early hours of Wednesday by indigenes of the community, was said to have
halted the livelihood of the people including fishing along the rivulets,
creeks and rivers.
A report made available to newsmen by pro-environment
advocacy group, Environmental Rights Action (ERA), confirmed the incident, and
alleged that the deployment of a Sea Truck and Naval Officers in a gunboat to
the site of the spillage provoked anger
and tension in the area.
According to ERA, the Naval Officers deployed to the site
denied access to people at the flowstation.But some indigenes who spoke on the
development ,including an attendant at the Flow Station, Mr Mark Dibigha said
that the oil spill occurred on Wednesday at about 4:00am.
According to him, “it occurred from a valve and following a signal about the incident some Shell officials visited from Nembe Creek Flow Station. They promised coming back but we are yet to see them. Before they went back they made sure that the crude oil stopped spewing”.
Contacted on the development, the Chairman, Oil and Gas
Committee of the Nembe Kingdom, Chief Nengi James said though he was alerted
about 4am, the spillage was a clear indication that the crude oil flowed into the Brass River and towards the
“That is why some of us have the view that the oil companies
are not honest with us; they deliberately allowed the crude oil to flow into
the Brass River and into the mangrove forest before pretending to come for
“We are still going round monitoring the environment and
seeing traces of crude oil. Shell officials are also going around now on the
same mission of monitoring the environment to see the extent of spread”.
“In this connection I want to say that we want Shell to come
and promptly clean-up the creek and impacted swamp. Whether they like it or not
there was spill, it has been discovered; we have seen it.
Chief James said the spill was due to technical fault and
called on Shell to pay appropriate compensation and embarck on thorogu clean-up
of the area
Shell spokesperson, Precious Okolobo confirmed the incident.
He said it occurred at Nembe Creek, 3 Flow Station, Bayelsa State.
Okolobo said, “a pump failure was reported at SPDC’s Nembe
Creek 3 flow station. The pump was
immediately shut down,”
“However, some oil escaped from the seal into the saver pit
in the flow station with some sheen observed. The pump has been repaired,” the
“There was no oil spill, and there was no impact on the
environment,” the statement quoted him as saying.
Nigerian NGO, Environmental Rights Action sent a team to
visit the site Wednesday and reported that there was a spill.
The head of the group, Nnimmo Bassey, described the spill as
“It is shameful that Shell could indulge in such exercise
trying to hide what even the blind can see,” he said.
“The spill is extensive and very visible on the waters — on
the Brass River and is reported to be flowing into the Atlantic Ocean,” he