Bayelsa oil spill not from our operations, says Chevron •Promises to support regulators in investigating source

Posted by News Express | 23 January 2021 | 595 times

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Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) on Friday maintained that reported leaks near its operational areas around the Funiwa offshore facilities off the Atlantic coast was not from its facilities and pledged to support regulators in tracing the source.

Fishermen around the Atlantic Ocean coastline had on Sunday reported an oil leak suspected to be from the Funiwa fields.

However, the operator of the field, Chevron, denied responsibility for the leakage.

Chevron, First Exploration and Production (First E& P) and Conoil Producing Limited have operations near the spill incident location.

It was gathered that the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had summoned all the oil firms operating in the shallow waters near Koluama in Bayelsa in a bid to identify the source of the leaks which had polluted the area.

Director-General at NOSDRA, Mr. Musa Idris, had said that the spill regulatory agency would dispatch its officials to the incident site.

However, Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, General-Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron in an update by email stated that the oil firm remains committed to tracing the source of the spill and is part of a joint effort by operators in the area to investigate the leakage.

“The observed spill has been reported by CNL to the appropriate regulatory agencies.

“For spills found within an operator’s operational area, the operator  is required to  contain the spill, followed by a Joint Investigation Visit by all stakeholders for assessment and further action. No spill has been observed within CNL’s operational area but we are  monitoring this incident.

“The observed spill has been reported to the appropriate regulatory agencies.

“CNL operates in strict compliance with the relevant laws and regulations governing the Nigerian petroleum industry and remain committed to the safety of people and the environment. CNL therefore welcomes the involvement of the appropriate Nigerian Government regulators to determine the source of the spill,” Brikinn said.

Chief Young Fabby, a Community leader in Koluama 1, one of the impacted communities, said on Friday that a joint team of Bayelsa government officials, oil firms operating in the area have scheduled a visit to the spill site for Friday.

He said that there are yet to be confirmed reports that Conoil was mobilising an oil spill

“We are hearing that Chevron has handed over the Funiwa field to Conoil and that is why Chevron says they are not responsible but we are not aware of any divestment yet. They have not informed us of the hand over yet.

“When they sold their interest in OML 83 and 85 to First E & P we were notified and we have even entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the new operators, so we do not understand their relationship, we however know that Chevron and Conoil share facilities.

“With the Joint Investigation Team visiting today, more facts will emerge. We are expecting the team to commence clean up and remediation activities even though the incident took place sometime around Saturday and noticed oil discharge since Sunday.

“There were high tidal currents at that time and it spread the oil ashore to the mangroves, we are ready to show the investigation team round when they arrive,” the community leader said.

Officials of Conoil and First (E &P) both declined to respond to the development, have yet to respond to requests for comments on the incident

Source: News Express

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