Niger DeltaOil and Gas

Equipment failure responsible for Peremabiri oil spill in Bayelsa – JIV report

By Chris Ezeonoh

Joint Investigation Visit, (JIV) report on the August 24 leak from Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) facilities at Peremabiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa has revealed that the incident was caused by equipment failure.

According to the field report of the JIV by National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) the leak was due to operational mishap that discharged crude oil within SPDC’s operational area with no impact on the third party area.

Our correspondent gathered that JIV is a statutory step that follows every oil spill incident by representatives of oil firms, host community and regulators to ascertain the cause, volume and area impacted by the oil spill incident.

A community source who represented the Peremabiri community on the JIV said on Tuesday that officials of SPDC, as well as regulators, were unanimous that the incident being investigated was traced to equipment failure.

He noted that an operational mishap on Aug. 24 at Diebu Creek Flowstation, operated by SPDC discharged a yet-to-be ascertained volume of crude into the environment.

The source who is a member of the Community Development Committee (CDC) in Peremabiri, however, said that the JIV could not arrive at the volume of spilled crude and so the community representatives refused to sign the JIV report.

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“We have conducted the JIV, they accepted responsibility for the leak incident at the flow station and another one at nearby Well 6, both were due to equipment failure.

“We were unable to agree on the volume of spilled crude and so did not sign the report,” he said.

The people of Peremabiri community had lamented the adverse impact of the spill and alleged insensitivity, neglect and delayed response by SPDC.

They said the delayed response to the spill by SPDC had led to damage to the land and marine environment and impacted a wider area.

SPDC had in a statement on Sept. 5 by its spokesman, Mr Mike Adande, confirmed that the oil firm was aware of the report of the spill.

Adande said “We are working with regulators and local community to investigate the reported incident.

“The Diebu Creek stopped injection into the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) on Feb. 25, owing to constant breaches of the TNP by crude oil thieves.

“The TNP is currently undergoing tests with water main flushing.”

According to residents, the discharge of large volumes of crude into the environment has polluted the Nun river, swamps and farmlands causing hardships to the predominantly fishing and farming settlement.

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