Port Harcourt, Nigeria | – A major oil spill has occurred at a Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, (SPDC), oil pipeline between the Santa-Barbara and Tego Rivers in Owuanga-Toru of Kula Kingdom in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained as at press time but the company is pushing for investigation and mitigation exercise.
Shell has confirmed the spill, which members of the affected communities described as “massive.”
“On August 6, 2014, the SPDC JV observed a leak on a section of the Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) at Owangia community, Akuku-Toru LGA in Rivers State.
“The impacted section has been shut down, preparatory to investigation into the cause of the leak and repairs. Some tools suspected to have been used for crude theft activities were recovered in the area,” Shell Nigeria spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobor said.
Community secretary of Owuanga-Toru Community, Alabo Fiola, who first confirmed the development said, “the oil spills suspected to have come from SPDC facilities in the area, has affected fishing and the other uses of the river.”
He attributed the spillage to the activities of vandals, while appealing for relief materials for the affected communities.
Some members of the affected communities described the spill as massive, but, Shell said the volume of oil involved is yet to be ascertained.
Okolobor said a Joint Investigative Visit would be conducted to the area to establish the extent of damage to the pipeline.