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Sunday Tribune (Nigeria): Another oil spillage hits Ogoniland

Even as efforts are still being made to effect the return of the major oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to Ogoniland in Rivers state, to resume oil exploitation activities, an oil spill from one of the company’s oil wellheads has devastated another Ogoni community.
Sunday Tribune gathered that K-Dere community in Gokana local government area of Rivers state went to sleep Friday evening with all its vicinity filled with crude oil spill from SPDC’s Bomu Well-2. It was further gathered that the spill was still on around 2:50pm, Saturday afternoon, when this report was being compiled.
According to reports, the spill occurred a year after a previous one, which SPDC came to stop and promised to come back later to do a more thorough work to prevent a reoccurrence, which never happened. Describing the level of damage to the Nigerian Tribune in a telephone conversation in Port Harcourt on Saturday, the President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mittee, said the spill would definitely have far reaching effect on the people.
According to him, “where this spill is happening is just like 100 meter from a church, attended by people, a school is just about 300 meters away and all round the wellhead are farms, on which active farming is gong on”.
He pointed out further that the area where the accident had occurred is well habited and as a result, “the spill will affect their food, water and livelihood sources”.
However, in a press statement sent online by Don Boham, the Corporate External Affairs Manager of SPDC, on the company’s behalf, the incidence was confirmed, adding that the company had mobilised its men to site to curtail the spill.
According to the statement, “a leak has occurred at Bomu Well-2, a dormant well in Ogoni land belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria limited. Crude oil was seen spewing out of the well-head late Friday, 24 March 2006. The vicinity of the spill is uninhabited.
“We have mobilised our oil spill response and fire service teams to the site, and also taking steps to secure the well and contain the spill. The cause of the spill and quantity of crude involved are yet to be determined.
“The relevant government agencies and community leaders have been informed of the situation and a Joint Investigation Team is due to visit the area”, it said. The company added further that it had stopped producing oil from Ogoni land in 1993.

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