A disagreement in the areas impacted by an oil leak on Trans Ramos Pipeline within Shell’s oilfield at Aghoro communities in Ekeremor local government area of Bayelsa State has stalled a joint investigation of the spill incident.
The Oil leakage, which occurred on May 17, 2018 discharged a yet to be ascertained volume of crude oil into the environment and polluted the river, farmlands and surroundings.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to ascertain the cause of the oil leak has been concluded but the report was yet to be signed by all the parties.
Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Media Relations Manager at SPDC had said that the joint investigation was conducted by the oil firm, representatives of the host community, government and regulatory agencies.
Odugbesan, however,said that the report of the JIV which commenced early in July 2018 was ready and awaiting signing off by the communities but declined to give reasons for the delays in releasing the JIV report.
The JIV report is expected to unravel the cause of the spill, volume of oil discharged and the area adversely impacted, and volume of oil recovered in the spill incident as well as serve as a basis to determine compensation.
It was gathered that SPDC and representatives of the host communities had a sharp disagreement on the size of areas affected by the oil spill and hence refused to sign the report ad disrupted ongoing cleanup of the site.
Mr Sunday Benjamin, Chairman, Community Development Committee, Aghoro 1 who participated in the JIV said the communities had argued that the oil spread to wider areas and affected more places than the JIV covered.
“The cause of the stalemate is that Shell refused to accommodate satellite communities, they did not allow the JIV to be extensive, they excluded the satellite communities and fishing settlements.
“They only captured Aghoro 1 and 2, le