National News Oil & Gas

Gbaramatu communities raise alarm over fresh oil spill from Chevron pipeline

By Ebi Perekeme

Fresh oil spills suspected to emanate from American oil giant facility – Chevron Nigeria Limited have hit more than 15 communities situated on the Benikrukru river in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state.

Benikrukru Community is host to Chevron Abiteye Flowstation in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state.

The leaders said thick crude oil slick flowing at high speed has covered the surrounding swamps and spreading to their communities with the fear that it might cause a fire outbreak aside from other damage, which has been noticed for over a week now.

After an investigative tour of the site of the supposed leakage with journalists, on Wednesday (24/2/2021), the leaders of the communities warned that the failure of the company to mop up the spread of the spill could cause colossal damage to the area.

They called on Chevron and regulatory bodies to quickly deploy safety measures to mitigate the effects, claiming that the spill had already caused damage to their environment and fishing activities.

A spokesperson for the Benikrukru United Communities, Pastor Blessing Tortor, while addressing journalists, claimed that the spill flowed from the Abiteye-Otunana bulk line belonging to the oil giant.

According to him, the new spill started on February 18, without any message from the oil company, alleging that the area had suffered several other oil spillages without a clean-up carried out by the Chevron management.

He said that the current leakage had spread to Benikrukru, Oborogbene, Asantuagbene, Ogbagbene, Kenyagbene, Kokodiagbene and other communities because of the tidal current, adding that it has caused untold hardships to the predominantly fishing population in the communities.

Also speaking for the community, Comrade Kingsley Ukuli, blamed the spill on Chevron negligence, stressing that the company should not hesitate to take concrete steps to checkmating environmental degradation and other related problems in the area.

A consultant and environmentalist, Dr Osakpolor Omorogkeoa, who was at the site of the spill at the instance of the community leaders, expressed shock at the development, saying: “I was consulted by the community to have a joint inspection on the recently spilt oil in Benikrukru Communities, and we found evidence of the spill”

The management of Chevron Nigerian Ltd has yet to respond to the incident as of the time of filing the report.

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