The residents of Angiama in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have alleged that the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited manipulated the volume of crude oil spilt into their environment following an incident from the oil firm’s oilfield.
The representatives of the impacted community, therefore, declined to sign the report of the Joint Investigation Visit conducted on the oil spill by regulators, the SPDC, state Ministry of Environment, security agencies and community representatives.
The oil spill happened on March 17, 2020, and was traced to equipment failure caused by corrosion.
But the JIV report has not been signed due to a disagreement between the community and the SPDC bordering on the volume of crude oil spilt into the Angiama ecosystem.
Checks on the website of the SPDC indicated that the oil firm had no record of the March 17 incident at Angiama but others were reported.
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A representative of the community on the JIV, Mr Desi Macline, said he refused to sign the JIV report because the volume of spilt crude oil was grossly underestimated to deny the people compensation since it resulted from equipment failure.
Macline said, “I refused to sign the form due to wide disagreement between what is on the ground and verifiable evidence and the 43 barrels they proposed in the form. From our own perspective, the volume of leakage is in excess of 45,000 barrels.”
However, the Media Relations Manager of the SPDC, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, said, “Please note that cause of spill and impact, including volume, is the product of a joint investigation visit led by regulators, representatives of the state Ministry of Environment, security agencies, community representatives and representatives of the SPDC. It is not a unilateral exercise by the SPDC.”