Bayelsa Oil Spill: Shell repairs ruptured pipeline, pledges compensation for victims

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By Kenechukwu Obiajuru, Yenagoa

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) says it has repaired the Trans Ramos Pipeline that ruptured and spilled about 1,114 barrels of crude oil into the environment on May 17.

The SPDC also decried the high rate of vandalism on its pipeline network at its oilfields in Bayelsa resulting to oil leaks and pollution of the environment.

The Media Relations Manager, SPDC, Mr, Bamidele Odugbesan in an email update said integrity tests were being conducted on the pipeline.

Odugbesan, also assured that post investigation activities including discussions on compensation to impacted people were underway.

“The Trans Ramos Pipeline has been repaired and is undergoing extensive testing prior to restart. We cannot give precise timing yet for restart of the line as it depends on the outcome of the testing.
“Statutory post-JIV activities are ongoing, which include site assessment, remediation, and payment of compensation to people and communities impacted by the spills,” Odugbesan said.

The oil leak had impacted and polluted an estimated area of 113.03 hectares.

A joint Investigation Visit (JIV) report of the incident had concluded that the leak on the pipeline at three spots were caused by equipment failure.

The impacted areas in Aghoro 1 and 2 Communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa and Odumodu community in Delta are being cleaned up and remediated.

Odugbesan said although the May 17 oil spill on the Trans Ramos Pipeline was traced to equipment failure, many other leaks were predominantly caused by sabotage.

“The rate of spills on the Trans Ramos Pipeline is very worrisome, for instance between April and May 26, spill incidents were reported on that line and out of these, 18 of them were caused by sabotage, eight were operational,” he said.

He said more that 90 per cent of spills recorded in its operations in 2017 were related to sabotage while the oil firm lost an average of 9,212 barrels of crude.

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