The Federal Government through the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has confirmed and regretted an oil leak from a 12-inch Benisede-Brass Creek Delivery Line at Peretuorugbene in Bayelsa State.
The incident was confirmed by the Director-General of NOSDRA, Mr Idris Musa, during an interview with NAN on Sunday in Yenagoa.
Musa said the incident, which occurred on the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) facility was investigated by NOSDRA.
This recent leakage is the latest in a series of oil spillages by Shell which has put the multinational oil firm in conflict with host communities.
The NOSDRA boss revealed that the agency concluded its investigation on Saturday and regretted the adverse impact of oil theft and pipeline vandalism on the environment and economy of the nation.
The NOSDRA boss revealed that the joint investigation, which was conducted by the agency, the operator, and community representatives on the incident, revealed that it was caused by suspected oil thieves.
He said that the investigating team discovered that the thieves installed several tapping points on the Benisede-Brass Creek pipeline from where they siphoned crude, an act that he decried and described as economic sabotage.
While calling on stakeholders to rise against the menace which reached an alarming proportion, Musa said, “Despite several appeals to our people to put the interest of our nation’s environment and economy first, some unpatriotic elements continue to inflict untold hardship on our environment and economy. They do this by installing several tapping points on crude oil pipelines, particularly the current incident.’’
Recall that in July 2021, SPDC reported an oil spillage at its facility in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, which discharged an unspecified volume of crude oil into the environment.
Also, on April 2021, SPDC confirmed that an oil pipeline spillage occurred at the Okordia-Rumekpe 14-inch crude truckline that it was operating, discharging about 213 barrels of crude oil into Ikarama community in Bayelsa State.
A report has suggested that Shell has reported over 1,000 spills with about 110,535 barrels of crude or 17.5 million litres lost since 2011, although some experts and stakeholders believe that the figure could be more in reality.