Chevron denies spilling oil in Bayelsa

Chevron Nigeria Limited has declared that reported leaks near its operational area at Funiwa offshore facilities, off the Atlantic coast, were not from its facilities.

The American oil company even pledged to support regulators in tracing the source of the spill.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, fishermen around the Atlantic Ocean coastline, last Sunday, reported an oil leak suspected to be from the Funiwa fields.

The General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, CNL, Mr Esimaje Brikinn, said the oil firm remained committed to tracing the source of the spill, as part of a joint effort by operators in the area to investigate the leakage.

“The observed spill has been reported by CNL to the appropriate regulatory agencies.

“For spills found within an operator’s operational area, the operator is required to contain them, followed by a Joint Investigation Visit by all stakeholders for assessment and further action. No spill has been observed within CNL’s operational area, but we are monitoring this incident.

“CNL operates in strict compliance with the relevant laws and regulations governing the Nigerian petroleum industry and remains committed to the safety of people and the environment,’’ he stated.

Chevron and two other companies operate independently near the spill location.

The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency also made it public that it had summoned all the oil firms operating in the shallow waters near Koluama in Bayelsa in a bid to identify the source of the leaks.

Speaking in a telephone interview, Director-General, NOSDRA, Mr Musa Idris, explained that the regulatory agency would dispatch its officials to the incident site.

Meanwhile, Chief Young Fabby, a community leader in Koluama 1, one of the impacted communities, noted that a joint team of Bayelsa State Government officials and oil firms operating in the area had scheduled a visit to the spill site for Friday.

“With the Joint Investigation Team visiting today, more facts will emerge. We are expecting the team to commence clean-up and remediation activities, though the incident took place sometime around

Saturday (last week) and oil discharge noticed since Sunday.

“There was high tidal currents at that time and it spread the oil ashore to the mangroves; we are ready to show the investigation team round when they arrive,” the community leader stated on Friday.

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