YENAGOA – Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said on Monday that the fire outbreak at an oil spill site at Ayambele and Kalaba communities in Yenagoa Local Government of Bayelsa has been put out.
Mr Precious Okoloba, the Media Relations Manager of of the company, who confirmed the incident, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that the fire was put out on Sunday.
NAN gathered that the company mobilised fire fighters to extinguish the fire shortly after it was reported. “SPDC JV has been recovering oil from a sabotage spill which occurred at Okordia manifold in June this year, and received reports of a fire around the same area. “We can now confirm that the fire is out and was not on our facility,” Okolobo said.
The spill site, currently being remediated by SPDC, was polluted by an oil spill from Shell’s Okordia Manifold at Ikarama community in June.
A Joint Investigation report on the June 12 spill obtained from SPDC’s website, attributed the discharge of 629 barrels of crude into the environment to vandalism.
The report stated that the spill impacted a total area of 3.4 hectares covering swamps, farm and built up areas beyond SPDC’s right of way.
In his reaction to the fire incident, Mr Monibo Joel, the Youth President of Ayambele community, said that although the source of the fire was unknown, the community suspects that oil workers engaged by Shell may have ignited the fire to burn off the crude.
Joel said that residents of the communities woke up to see the strange fire on Sunday burning off the crude deposits on the land and swamps.[eap_ad_2]
He said that the clean-up of the June spill incident was currently underway, a development that heightened suspicion that the contractors might have ignited the fire to expedite the operation.
Also reacting to the fire incident, Mr Alagoa Morris, an environmentalist and Head of Field Operations at Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria condemned the act of burning out spilled crude.
“The Environmental Rights Action has condemned the burning of oil spill impacted sites; it is a very crude and unacceptable method of clean-up used by oil companies and their contractors.
“We condemn this burning approach because it further degrades the environment; the Ayambele/Kalaba environment is still raging with the fire suspected to be lit by agents of the contractor cleaning the spill.
“The international best practices they profess should be put to work in the field, the spilled crude should be recovered and reprocessed or disposed off appropriately,” Morris said. (NAN)[eap_ad_3]