The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has blamed sabotage for the incessant oil spill that had occurred in the country especially in the last nine years.
Director of the agency, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, who made the disclosure yesterday in Lagos at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TetFund) ‘s sponsored petroleum hydrocarbon containment groundwater remediation seminar on Baruwa underwater contamination said that from over 6,600 spill incidents reported to the Department in the last nine years, 53 per cent were attributed to acts of sabotage, accounting for about 57 per cent of total volumes of oil spill.
Mordecai, who was represented by Dr. Musa Zagi, director of environment in the DPR, warned of the consequences of sabotaging oil infrastructure which has damaged the environment in the Niger Delta area.
He said that it has often been erroneously held at the DPR was to blame for not doing enough to halt such occurrences and explained that the Department was just a regulatory body and not a security agency that arrests bandits. Most often he said, host community block access to affected facilities thus aggravating the situation.
“They do this intentionally with intention to attract sympathy and claims without considering the overall consequences of their actions,” he said.
The director however said the agency in its resolve to sustain health, safety and environment (HSE), via pollution abatement in the industry has over the years introduced various programmes which he claimed has improved environmental stewardship as well as promoted a sound HSE culture in the oil sector.
He said the effort has significantly reduced spills resulting from equipment failure and human error which accounted for less than 15 per cent and 12 per cent of the 6,600 spill incidents in the last nine years respectively.
Mordecai however noted that there was still room for improvement in areas like reduction and phasing out gas flaring, seeking permanent solution for prohibited discharges and waste management, building capacity among local operators and improve reporting culture and attitude to HSE.