The oil spill that occurred in March at Angiama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in Bayelsa has been traced to equipment failure,.
The spill reportedly emanated from Well No. 13 at the oilfield operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Angiama a coastal settlement by the Nun River.
According to a sources who participated in the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to probe the cause of the leak which discharged a yet to be ascertained volume of crude into the environment both regulators and the oil firm agreed on the cause of the incident.
Mr Johnbull Edward Chairman, Angiama Community Development Committee, said Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) conducted on the spill by the officials of SPDC, regulators and the community representatives indicated it was caused by equipment failure.
JIV is a statutory team conveyed after any leak incident by operator,regulators, community and government representatives to ascertain cause and quantity of oil leakage from oil spill incidents.
Edward explained that the pollution of the community farmlands and waterways resulted from equipment failure in the Oil Well 13 operated by the SPDC in the area.
The leak, according to him, was noticed on March 27, and reported accordingly.
According to him, the JIV was carried out one week after the incident took place following reports by the community.
“We came here with the JIV team in connection with the cause of the spill.
“After everything, we held a meeting at Shell’s Nun River Flow Station. And they told us, including the regulators, that the spill occurred as a result of equipment failure. Shell also told us it was equipment failure so that conclusion was unanimous.
“Since then, we have been hoping; we told them that they should come and do the clean-up because it is affecting our people. People can no longer drink the water.” Edward said.
He said that the community had since been waiting for the spills response team from the oil firm to commence oil recovery and clean up activities to no avail leavimg the impacted areas to deteriorate.
Checks at SPDC’s oil spills incident website revealed no record of the incident at Angiama , but indicated tha SPDC recorded two spill incidents in the Month of March 2020.
The incident of March 5 was an operational spill while that of March 16 was caused by sabotage according to the JIV report on the web portal.
When contacted for a response, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Media Relations Manager at SPDC declined comment.