Shell Petroleum Development Company has confirmed an oil leak incident from its underwater line within its oil fields in Bayelsa State.
The company said in a statement on Thursday by its spokesperson, Mr. Joseph Obari, that the leakage was reported on January 23, 2015, and led to the subsequent shutting of the facility.
A site visit, however, showed that residual leak from the Seibou Deep facility operated by SPDC had been discharging crude into Ogboinbiri River.
Obari said, “A spill was detected from an underwater flow line riser at the Seibou 2 Wellhead in the night of January 23, 2015. The well was closed-in about 15 hours later, once it was safe to do so, and the impacted area boomed off to prevent further spread of the spill.
“A joint investigation visit has been conducted, but it only determined the quantity of oil spilled and mapped the area of impact to the environment. A follow up JIV is being planned to lift the line from underwater and determine the cause of leak.”
Residents of the coastal settlement of Ogboinbiri and neighbouring communities in the state have been complaining that the oil leakage has negatively affected the fishing activities of the people.
Some residents, who depend on the river for drinking water and for domestic use, said that the leak had continued unabated for over a month, compelling them to resort to the use of sachet water.
The communities worst hit by the spill are Keme-Ebiama, Apoi, Kokologbene, Gbaruan, Ukubie and Lobia.