|Imo River-Ogale Pipeline||February 21, 2014|
Following the reported leak of a 12” pipeline at Odagwa (Rivers State) on 20/2/14, a JIV was scheduled to take place on 21/2/14. The JIV started on 21/2/14 and ended on that same day. The JIV team arrived at the spill location at approximately 1:25PM. Upon arrival at the oil spill location, an HSE briefing to all attendees commenced. All relevant parties signed off on the JIV report on 21/2/14. Meanwhile, plugging and clamping was done the same day (21/2/2014). The following were done as part of the JIV process: the cause of leak was sabotage (Attachment of “local clamp” and 1” siphon pipe); the area of spill was mapped by Geometrics; the volume estimation was done by the Governance (team) personal; the repair team was there for repairs; there was both video and picture coverage by SPDC media.
COMPOSITION OF THE JIV TEAM: Representative of the following organizations were part of the JIV team:
- Department of petroleum Resource
- National oil spill detection and response agency (NOSDRA)
- State Ministry of Environment. Nigerian Police Force (NPF)-CID
- Host Community Rep.
- NACGOND Rep.
- Contractor ( Anasami Construction Nigeria Limited)
- SPDC: Pipeline team; Oil spill response; Geometrics; Compensation and land advisor; SPDC Media team.
Objective of the visit: It is a constitutional obligation that after occurrence of oil spill, A JIV team is sent to know the cause of the spill, quantity of spill and area impacted by the spill.
Cause of spill: It is a constitutional obligation that after occurrence of oil spill, A JIV team is sent to know the cause of the spill, quantity of spill and area impacted by the spill.
Description of environment: Light bushy
Description of leaked point: 12” Imo river-Ogale Pipeline at Odagwa.
Type of environment to which oil has spread: Nearby bushes.
Type of containment: Containment pits, oil tanks (plastic).
Properties affected: None
OBSERVATIONS/NATURE OF SPILL
- Asset is a sub-surface pipeline lying 3-5 feet below the ground level
- 2 adjacent containment pits were also visible nearby and they contained diverted spilled oil
- Upon arrival at the spill point, digging was done to reach and expose the leaking 12” pipe
- Upon exposure of the leaking pipe, the sabotage equipment (local clamp and 1” siphon pipe) were easily and clearly visible.
- Hydrocarbon gas was perceived once pipeline was exposed.
- After exposure of the pipeline, small quantities of oil were leaking out from a hole in the pipe.
- The volume of oil spill was estimated at several barrels of oil, while area impacted was 0.032Ha.
- Absorbent pads were placed on visible oil deposits on the ground surface, and the oil soaked up by the pads was deposited in a plastic oil tank on site.
ENDORSEMENT OF THE JIV: Okeke Lazarus DPR; Akabudike Henry -NOSDRA; Eigege Baba - SCID; Representative of Community (Community Rep.); Owusibo Waribor-Rivers State Ministry of Environment; Kemjika Nwokogba (NACGOND); Representative of Contractor (Anasami Construction Nigeria Limited); Representatives of SPDC.
PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED: Departure from Shell Industrial Area happened at a very late hour, around 12:30PM and this led to a domino effect on events later in the day, closer to the destination. Within a few hundred feet from the oil spill site, a JTF outpost is located. The coincidence of a bunkering point being so close to the JTF base without the military guardsmen’s’ knowledge of that illegal activity is suspicious. The question has to be asked publicly if the JTF guards colluded with the bunkerers or/and knew of their activities without reporting it to the required authorities.
RECOMMENDATIONS: The Multinational companies should engage NGOS to carry-out advocacy programmes in host communities to create awareness on the dangers of Hydro-carbon and its impact in the environment were there operation are taking place. Furthermore, Shell needs to improve organization before departure of the JIV team. Shell requested all relevant parties to be at the Industrial Area at 8:00AM, but departure actually occurred 5 hours after that, which shows disrespect for other peoples’ time.
CONCLUSION: SPDC Both the multinational companies and Government agencies should step up in their responsibility in providing jobs/social amenities to better the lives of people and host communities. SPDC should investigate whether JTF and oil saboteurs in this area are working together. SPDC needs to regularly monitor pipelines in their vicinity and facilities for wear and tear to prevent incidents like this from happening. If SPDC had monitored pipelines in their facilities better, this spill would have been prevented.