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Equipment failure responsible for Shell oil spill —Report

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Equipment failure is believed to be to blame for the crude oil leak at the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) facilities in Peremabiri, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa.

The leak was caused by equipment failure, according to a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) that was conducted at the incident site on September 5 and 6.

According to a field report of the JIV by the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) issued on Tuesday, the leak was caused by an operational error that released crude oil inside SPDC’s operational region with no impact on third party area.

JIV is a mandated procedure that representatives of oil companies, the host community, and regulators complete after every oil spill incident in order to determine the cause, volume, and region impacted of the spill.

The Peremabiri community’s representative in the JIV, Mr. Return Koma, revealed on Tuesday that regulators and SDPC officials agreed the incident under investigation was the consequence of equipment failure.

He mentioned that a still-unknown amount of crude was released into the environment on August 24 as a result of an operational error at SPDC’s Diebu Creek Flow Station.

Koma, who is the Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairman of Peremabiri, however, said that the JIV could not arrive at the quantity of spilled crude and so did not sign the JIV report.

“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.

Read also: Shell blames oil theft for Nigeria’s economic woes

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.

In a statement issued on Sept. 5 by its spokesman, Mr Mike Adande, SPDC said it was aware of the spill.

“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,“ SPDC said in the statement.

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