Home News AITEO oil spill devastation massive disaster— Ijaw group

AITEO oil spill devastation massive disaster— Ijaw group

by Business News Report

Ijaw Professionals Association, Homeland Chapter, has said that the crude oil spill on an AITEO well head in the Nembe Creek, Bayelsa State is as massive and devastating as 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon disaster and 2012 Chevron K S Endeavour catastrophe in Koluama off the coast of Bayelsa. Iniruo Wills, President, Ijaw Professionals Association in an appraisal on the Santa Barbara Well 1 in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 lamented that the assets under AITEO as operator have witnessed failures with huge ecological threats to livelihoods in the area than when Shell was operating the assets. He asked, “is anyone ascribing it to sabotage? Anybody or official ascribing this recklessly caused ecological disaster to sabotage needs a psychiatric examination. You cannot keep raping communities and at the same time tarring them with the brush of collective criminalisation.”

According to Wills, a legal practitioner and former Commissioner for Environment in Bayelsa State, “There was a massive spill that went on for a week at that same Santa Barbara Well 1 in OML 29 operated by Aiteo over two years ago. Like roughly thirty or more other spills spanning across that same oil bloc in the few years since Aiteo started operating the bloc, that 2019 spill from the same well has neither been cleaned up, remediated or compensated for. The community is still engaging with regulators – particularly NOSDRA – and AITEO, practically begging for redress while still suffering the unmitigated impacts of that spill and many others. This is even after a post-spill impact assessment was eventually conducted after several months of pressing for it. 

“Now this mega spill disaster is going on from that same well for about a week now in a country with virtually zero installed spill-response capacity. Several oil industry experts who viewed the video clip have likened it to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 2012 Chevron K S Endeavour catastrophe in Koluama, Nigeria, and they have pointed to the likelihood of it being a gas pressure release from pent-up gas over the years from a capped and abandoned non-producing well.  Beyond Aiteo whose operations have made its predecessor, Shell, look like saints, this incident once again challenges the Government of Nigeria and industry regulators to wake up to their statutory duties. 

“It makes the Nigerian delegation to the ongoing COP 26 Climate Change summit in Glasgow look like they went on an idle and pretentious frolic to Glasgow while oil and gas are gushing out uncontrolled on poor populations and the corporate culprits continue to make callous diversionary statements with impunity, as if they consider the entire Nigerian public to be foolish and gullible.”

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