Yenagoa - A team of oil experts comprising officials from Chevron company, have undertaken a Joint Investigation Visit on the company's oil field off Bayelsa coastline where a leak was alleged to have occurred.
The team, including National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and representatives of Koluama 1 and 2 coastal communities, participated in the visit.
Residents of Koluama communities had alleged that the leak impacted on their environment and urged the government to ensure prompt investigation into the incident.
However, Chevron in a statement signed by Deji Hastrup, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs unit, said the company did not record any oil spill in the area.
Adeyinka Adewumi, Head of NOSDRA’s Zonal Office in Port Harcourt, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the agency had begun investigations into the incident.
Adewumi said that NOSDRA officials, Chevron and representatives of the host communities in Koluama, Southern Ijaw council area of Bayelsa, had visited the site.
“Chevron reported a leak in their field and our officers, Chevron representatives as well as community representatives and other agencies in the sector visited.” he said.
Sale-Epri Mathew, a resident in Koluama who participated in the visit, told NAN that the team visited the site at Middleton production platform.
Mathew said that the joint team was at a pipeline location which connected Middleton and Pennington production platforms during the visit and found some quantities of crude at the site.
“We observed that people involved in illegal bunkering may have been behind the leak but it appeared that the pipeline was not having much oil when they struck.
“We saw some quantity of oil less than two barrels and all the parties unanimously agreed that it was sabotage by suspected oil thieves; that was our conclusion,” Mathew said.