Government is battling with the challenge of illegal refinaries in the Niger-Delta

Adebayo Obajemu

A total of 11 oil spill incidents was recorded by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, in the month of February 2020, as a result of oil theft an operational failure.

Data obtained from Shell website shows that between May 1st and May 30th 2020, the Dutch multinational experienced leaks in Abia, Bayelsa and Rivers States amounting to 154.83barrels of crude oil.

The affected facilities in these states include; 28” Nkpoku-Bomu Pipeline, 14″ Okordia-Rumuekpe Pipeline, 16″Egbema-Assa Pipeline, 8″ Nkali-Imo River Pipeline, 20″ Kolocreek-Rumuekpe Pipeline, 4” Kanbo Well 5L Flowline, 12” ImoRiver 2-Ogale Pipeline, 4” Imo River Well 55S Flowline, 3” Adibawa Well 6T Flowline Flange, and 4” Bonny Well 10S Flowline Riser.

All the affected facilities had one leak each, except the 28″ Nkpoku-Bomu Pipeline, which experienced two leaks at two different theft points in Gokana and Obio/Akpor LGAs of Rivers State in the month of May.

Nine of the leaks were recorded on land, while only two occurred in the swamp area; the volume of each spill ranges from 0.03barrel to 63 barrels in each of the spill site.

Information from the JIV reports, endorsed by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, host communities and State Ministry of Environment in the impacted states and SPDC, showed that two of the leaks were caused by operational failure, while nine were caused by sabotage and third party interference.

While no recoverable oil was found in some of the spill sites, spills have been contained and recovered in others, as assessment and site certification would be completed in most sites as far as October and November 2020.