Inferno Guts Nigerian pipeline : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Inferno Guts Agip Oil Pipelines, Claims Lives Source: Africa News Service Publication date: 2000-05-20

Lagos - Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has reported a fire- outbreak along its oil pipe-lines in Ogabi-Brass, near Nembe in Bayelsa State. Although fire-fighters were said to have moved in to control the situation, the company's spokesman said they could not ascertain the number of people who died in the inferno.

Sources have pinned the cause of the fire to sabotage, saying that the fire came days after oil spill was reported in the area.

The Managing Director of Agip, Mr. Claudio Descaizi, who is also the vice- chairman of the Italian oil firm, confirmed the development.

Agip admitted that the spill was reported on May 13, 2000, at about 5 o'clock in the evening, adding that the company promptly shut down oil delivery from such pipelines and all affected facilities. He (Descaizi) said his men mobilised to clean up the mess but "unfortunately, militant

Nembe youths prevented them from gaining access into the area."

The Agip boss disclosed that he contacted the federal government after which notable persons such as the Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Senator David Brigidi (Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum) helped in achieving relative peace through a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU).

Descaizi however regretted that just when his men were permitted to move in to attend to the spill, the area went up in flames. He said his company suspects that dynamites may have given event to the leakage.

Only recently an oil spill from a Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) overran Tein Community in Okordea/Bigani Zamara Local Government Area of Bayelsa State subjecting the inhabitants to untold hardship

The spill was reported to have emanated from an SPDC operated pipeline accompanied with leakage of gas. It affected economic trees, fish ponds, streams and creeks. Taylor creek, the only major source of drinking water for the community, was polluted with fears that it might flow into neighbouring communities.

Agitations of compensations from communities where oil spill occured have continued to disrupt the operations of many oil firms operating in the Niger Delta.

However, most of the oil companies have evolved a policy of not compensating communities where oil spill occured as a result of vandalisation of their installations, mostly pipelines.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 20, 2000

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