About 1.34 hectares of land has been reportedly polluted as an oil pipeline at the Okordia-Rumekpe 14-inch crude truckline, operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), discharging about 213 barrels of crude oil spilled into Ikarama community in Bayelsa State.
This is according to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) which said the spillage was confirmed by the Media Relations Manager for SPDC, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, and that the probe into the incident had been concluded.
Reports say about 1.34 hectares of land were polluted by the spillage, which followed a rupture on the pipeline.
A Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) report on the incident on Thursday confirmed that the incident took place on April 7, while the investigation was concluded on April 12. JIV is a statutory probe into the cause of any recorded spill incident involving the oil firm, regulators, host communities and state ministries of environment.
The JIV report concluded that the spill was an operational mishap traced to equipment failure which impacted nearby palm trees and fish ponds and subsequently recommended remediation of the site.
The JIV report also states that out of the 213 barrels of SPDC’s bonny light crude stream leak, some 110 barrels are recoverable from the ongoing recovery exercise at the site, leaving an estimated spilled volume at 109.12 barrels.
The JIV report, which anticipated that oil recovery would be concluded before the end of April, also recommended the replacement of sections of the pipeline to restore its integrity.
Note that this new leakage is the latest in a series of oil spillages by Shell which has put the multinational oil firm in conflict with the host communities.
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.