SPDC advised to conduct integrity tests on its pipelines

Gboribiogha-Jonah

The deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah, has urged the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria Limited to conduct an integrity test on its pipelines in the Niger Delta.

According to Jonah, the integrity test has become imperative due to the frequent occurrence of oil spillages from the operations of the SPDC in the region.

He stated this when he undertook an on-the-spot assessment tour of one of the sites of a massive leak from the SPDC Trans-Ramos pipeline, which impacted Aghoro and neighbouring communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

The oil spill, which occurred on May 17, 2018, also affected some communities in Delta State, and polluted the environment and rivers, killing fishes and other aquatic creatures.A visibly worried Jonah contended that a good number of the pipelines were laid a long time ago, and might have suffered from corrosion and become obsolete.

The oil spill, which occurred on May 17, 2018, also affected some communities in Delta State, and polluted the environment and rivers, killing fishes and other aquatic creatures.A visibly worried Jonah contended that a good number of the pipelines were laid a long time ago, and might have suffered from corrosion and become obsolete.

The deputy governor also berated SPDC for the delay in carrying out remediation activities and provision of relief materials to mitigate the sufferings of the people in the impacted communities.Jonah advised SPDC to involve all relevant parties when a joint investigative visit (JIV) would be carried out to ascertain the cause of the oil spill, and that the exercise must be in accordance with international standards.He also commended the people of Aghoro for their patience and maintaining the peace, assuring them that the state government would do the needful.Charles Ebulu, an engineer, who briefed Jonah at one of the devastated sites, explained that SPDC was doing everything necessary to contain further spread of the spilled crude.While pleading for understanding from all stakeholders, he promised that the issues raised by the deputy governor would be communicated to the management of the SPDC for action.Fred Agbedi, an indigene of Aghoro and member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, said the community had suffered from two oil spillages in recent times. He said the first one occurred in April 2018 at Odimodi area in Delta State, which extended to Aghoro, and the second on May 17, 2018, at Aghoro axis, all on the SPDC Trans-Ramos pipeline.

Agbedi lamented that the two incidents destroyed the environments of Aghoro and other surrounding communities with aquatic lives killed and means of livelihood lost.He, therefore, called on the Federal Government and SPDC to take some quick actions to alleviate the plight of the people.In his remarks, Ibamua Ojukosin, the paramount ruler of Aghoro community, said it took the oil firm two weeks to respond and contain the oil spill after the incident was reported.He said the community had yet to receive any form of assistance from SPDC by way of relief materials, including medical supplies.Others who also accompanied the deputy governor on the assessment of the incident were Mike Ogbere, representing Ekeremor Constituency 3 in the House of Assembly; Martha Jenakumo, Commissioner for Women Affairs and her Mineral Resources counterpart, Markson Fefegha, and Dein Benadoumene.Source:independent

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