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Chevron, Bayelsa communities disagree on gas leakage
Oil giant, Chevron Nigeria Limited, and its host communities have expressed divergent views on a gas leak reported at Chevron’s offshore gas field in the Atlantic Ocean located off Bayelsacoastline.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that officials of National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA confirmed receiving a report of a leakage in Chevron’s field last Wednesday.
Head of NOSDRA’s zonal operations office in Port Harcourt,Adeyinka Adewumi, said that the agency had received a report of the leak from Chevron and was awaiting a joint visit to ascertain the cause of the leak.
Coastal communities in Koluama 1 and Koluama 2 communities had alleged that the gas leakage had discharged crude and gas into the environment leading to pollution of the air and marine ecosystem.
Community sources told NAN on Sunday that the oil firm had been making frantic efforts to mitigate the leakage while the leak continued.
A resident from Fishtown community in Brass council area of Bayelsa State, Larry Gabriel, said that leaking well, located about five kilometres from the site of a January 2012 gas explosion “is still discharging gas into the air”.
“The leakage is yet to stop. They have been deploying chemicals to dissolve the oil and sink it to the sea bed as it gushes out from the well. That is why they are saying that they have no oil spill. The traces of dissolved crude have hit the shoreline. The gas emission has compromised the air quality and the smell is everywhere but unfortunately gas is invisible but they had an explosion here in 2012 and we do not want a repeat,” he said.
Gabriel added: “We will not accept any attempt to conceal this incident and we appeal to the agencies of government to rise to the occasion and get to the root of this incident.”
However, Chevron in a statement insisted that it did not record any oil spill in its operations nearBayelsa coastline.
The oil firm did not provide any detail on the reported gas leakage and alleged pollution of air in the communities.