© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
NOSDRA concludes probe of oil spill from Shell’s facility at Angiama in Bayelsa
The oil well located at Angiama a coastline settlement by the bank of River Nun, Southern Ijaw Local Government in Bayelsa is operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Idris Musa, Director-General of NOSDRA said in a telephone interview on Friday that 43 barrels of crude were discharged into the farmlands and nearby swamps.
It was learnt that the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) witnessed disagreements between the host community who accused officials of the oil firm of under-reporting the volume of leaked crude.
JIV is a statutory team convened after any leak by operator, regulators, community and government representatives to ascertain the cause and quantity of oil leakage from oil spills.
The NOSDRA-DG said that contrary to claims by SPDC that the investigation was still ongoing, the agency had closed out the probe and filed the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) report dated March 28, 2020.
“Joint Investigation was done and concluded. Spill containment was done, oil recovery is done while post-spill impact and damage assessment will follow and the JIV report is available,” Musa said.
SPDC’s Spokesman Bamidele Odugbesan had claimed that the JIV report was yet to be published on the oil firm’s spills incident portal because it has not been signed.
“The JIV is published after it is signed off and this marks the completion of the process,” Odugbesan said.
Investigations at SPDC’s oil spills incident website revealed no record of the March 17 incident at Angiama while other leak incidents before and afterward were reported on the portal.
The NOSDRA boss explained that the agency found out that the leak was caused by equipment failure and recommended that SPDC should clean up and remediate the impacted site.
According to the JIV report with spill incident No. 2614095 made available to journalists, the oil leak impacted an area of 11,200 square meters and extended beyond SPDC’s Right of Way.
The report was signed by three community representatives namely Timi Yaro, Hon Target Isaih Segibo and Chief Noah Biobele , Owei Boma Blessing signed for Bayelsa Ministry of Environment and three officials endorsed for SPDC.
However, Desi Macline, a representative of Well 13 host community, says there is a disagreement over the volume of the oil spill from Shell fields in the community and they subsequently declined to sign the JIV report.