Yenagoa - The Ikarama Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Sunday reported fresh oil spills from Taylor creek oil well operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an earlier oil spill incident from NAOC’s pipeline network in neighbouring Kalaba Community in Yenagoa had continued since Feb. 20.
NAN gathered that the oil leakage from the Taylor Creek oil well `A’ had spread and contaminated the surrounding environment since it was noticed by members of the community on Saturday.
Mr Washington Odoyibo, a farmer in the affected Ikarama community, told NAN in Yenagoa on Sunday that he noticed the spill on Saturday while returning from his farm.
"I cannot say exactly when it started, on my way back from the bush I heard some sound of oil gushing out from the well head and when I got close to the area I noticed that the leakage has been going on for some time.
"We have been going through this environmental challenge for a very long time without any respite in sight and our land keeps getting degraded by every passing day,” Odoyibo said.
Mr Domingo Ebato, another resident of the community, told NAN that there were two other spots on the crude delivery lines within the community where crude oil currently spews from.
"It is an ugly incident but because of our health and environment I think the owners of the pipeline owe us the responsibility of stopping this spill and cleaning the impacted.
"We can see that the crude oil is flowing and spreading into the environment and through that furrow it will spread far.
"It would be worse if rain fails because the volume of water will aid it spread on farmlands and even further and faster into the Taylor Creek and cause more havoc.
"But for now, the owners of the immediate environment will greatly suffer the impact as they can no longer use this land for any meaningful venture.
"For sure, this poses a great danger to the fertile soil from which we used to get cassava and water yam,” Ebato said.
Officials of NAOC could not be reached for comments.
However, Dr Idris Musa, the Director, Oil Spill Response, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, said that the agency was disturbed about reports of frequent spills from the area.