Nigeria: Communities in Bayelsa state suffering from recurrent Agip oil spills - parliament urges company to clean up spills

Following the explosion of a pipeline belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Bayelsa State that left 13 people dead and several others injured in July 2015, communities in Bayelsa have reported recurrent oil spills from NAOC pipelines. Bayelsa State government has demanded that NAOC clean up over 1000 oil spill sites by 31 December 2015.  We invited ENI, the controlling shareholder of NAOC, to respond. The response, and media items related to the spills, are below.

 

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Article
7 November 2016

Nigeria: Residents of Bayelsa state express concern over recurrent "massive" oil spills allegedly from Agip facilities

Author: Simon Utebor, Gistmaster (Nigeria)

"Bayelsa communities groan as oil spills pollute environment", 2 Nov 2016

Residents of Ogbia and Yenagoa communities of Bayelsa State have expressed concern over “massive” oil spills that polluted their environment. The residents claimed the spills, emanating from leaks from an oilfield, reportedly operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company, destroyed farmlands and aquatic lives in the communities...A resident of Otuokpoti community, Mrs Cecilia Osain, said the spills had negatively affected fishing activities in their river...bathing in the river was no longer safe for residents as those who did complained of itching all over their bodies. She said the community relied on the creek for drinking water and for domestic use...The Media Relations Manager, at Eni, parent company of Agip, Mr Filippo Cotalinni, has yet to respond to a request for comments on the incident.

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Company response
9 December 2015

Eni response

Author: Eni

[ENI, through its Agip subsidiary, is the largest shareholder of Nigerian Agip Oil Company]

As soon as we received the information of suspected spill along Taylor Creek  2 flowline on 08/11/2015,...all the wells in NAOC Taylor Creek field ...have been closed, while proceeding to identify the source of the leakage and provide information to the Regulatory Agencies. A Joint Investigation Visit...was carried on the 11th of November. The inspection outcomes had shown that the cause of the spill was due to sabotage... NAOC has no record of debts owed to NAOC’s clean up contractors in this area as alleged...

The spill along 14” Ogboinbiri/Tebidaba pipeline at Okpotuwari was reported on 19/07/2015... [The] cause of spill was ascertained to be a leak from a clamp used to repair a previous leak spot and categorized as “equipment failure”. The volume of oil spilled was estimated at 100 barrels, for which appropriate cleanup has been already carried [out]...

[Regarding] events [that] occurred in 2014, NAOC has carried cleaned-up jobs in all those sites. At the date, clean-up jobs have been carried for more than 92% of the sites of spill reported in 2015 where necessary.

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Article
12 November 2015

Reps want Agip Oil to contain spill in Bayelsa

Author: News24 Nigeria

"Reps want Agip Oil to contain spill in Bayelsa", 12 Nov 2015: The [Nigerian] House of Representatives...[has] urged the Nigerian Agip Oil Company to clean up recent multiple oil spills...in Bayelsa...[A motion sponsored by Representative Douye Diri]...which came under matter[s] of urgent national public importance was on the need to address severe pollution of the Niger Delta environment due to alarmingly high incidences of preventable oil spills..."The lives and livelihood of the people of the Niger Delta has become too cheap and dispensable to the oil companies in their unbridled quest for profit [said Diri]."

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Article
9 November 2015

Panic In Bayelsa Over Multiple Agip Pipeline Oil Spill

Author: Osa Okhomina, Leadership (Nigeria)

There were signs of panic among the Indigenes of...Bayelsa State following the multiple Oil spillage from the pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company...Leadership gathered that the breached points of the pipeline were said to be discharging crude oil into the environments of the communities destroying flora and fauna...It was learnt that fear of the outbreak of spill-related epidemic had gripped the people as the impact of the incidents was spreading fast within the swampy environment aided by the current floods...Reacting to the development, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth's [Alagore Morris]...[Said]...“What is at stake whenever there is any spill incident are their environment, health and livelihood".

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Article
21 September 2015

Bayelsa issues ultimatum to Agip to clean up over 1,000 spill sites

Author: Arodiegwu Eziukwu, Premium Times (Nigeria)

The Bayelsa government...directed the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, to clean up over 1,000 spill sites in the state before December 31, 2015...[In a] letter by the state commissioner for Environment, Iniruo Wills, [the governemnt noted that] less than 20 out of over 800 spills that occurred in 2014 have been remediated and cleaned...[and]...government was dismayed by the alarming frequency of spills from oil fields...[Reports note that]..out of the over 200 spill incidents so far recorded in 2015, no efforts were being made to clean and remediate the sites...In response, Filipo Cotalini, the spokesman of Eni – the parent company of Agip – said in an email on Monday [22 September 2015] that the company would respond in due course. 

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Article
26 July 2015

Again, Agip oil spill devastates Bayelsa communities

Author: Igoniko Odum, Daily Independent (Nigeria)

A massive oil spill from the...pipelines of Nigerian Agip Oil Company has devastated the environment of...communities in...Bayelsa State...The oil spill was said to have impacted the river in the area and spread into lakes, ponds, rivulets and swamps aided by rising flood and rains. The people of the affected communities [suspect] that the spill was allegedly caused by equipment failure. 

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