Yenagoa - The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) on Monday began recovery and
clean-up of crude discharged into the Atlantic Ocean from its oil export
terminal off Bayelsa coastline on November 27.
Residents along the coastline told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in
separate interviews that spill response workers deployed by Agip were seen in
the waterways and along the coastline.
They said that workers deployed to the sea used plastic
materials called ‘boom’ to keep the floating oil from spreading.
Eni, the Italian Energy firm and parent company of the NAOC, had said that
it was investigating the cause of the oil discharge as the National Oil
Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had reported the spill to the
The oil workers sited at Odioama, were operating with three boats for the clean-up
While one of the boats contained a large plastic container for
recovering crude from the water surface, another boat conveyed personnel while
the third carried materials.
Residents of the affected fishing settlements complained that NAOC
officials had not contacted them to know the extent of damage the
spill had caused to their fishing activities.
The Chairman of Bayelsa Chapter of the Artisan Fishermen Association of
Nigeria, Elizabeth Egbe, told NAN that the oil leak had compelled 3 000
fishermen to suspend fishing.
Also speaking, the President of the Ewoama Community in Brass Local
Government Area, Ebipre Omubo, expressed regret over the alleged
insensitive posture of the firm to the plight of the fishing communities.
“Our community is seriously impacted by the oil spill from Agip’s platform
on the sea, thus disrupting our fishing activities.
“This is why we are calling on Agip to come to the aid of the community with
relief materials and compensation.
“As far as this spill is concerned, the attitude of Agip toward the impacted
communities remains unacceptable.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for NAOC, Mr Tajudeen Adigun, could not be reached
for comments on the development as several calls and text messages put to his
mobile phone, for an official response, were also not answered.