BusinessDay

Communities ask Senate President to compel Chevron to compensate them on oil spill

The Abereke Communities in Ilaje, Ondo State, have called on the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, to use his good offices, to compel Chevron Nigeria Limited,(cnl) to compensate the communities for damages and pollution caused by it through its exploration and exploitation exercises in the area.

The communities, who made this plea in a petition written to the Senate President, said that the company’s Ojumole wells and pipelines at the community allegedly exploded and caused fire which destroyed farmlands, aquatic lives and fauna as well as endangered the lives of the indigenes.

The petition titled, “save our souls statement”, which was signed by Taiwo Aiyedetiwa, general secretary of the community, stated that the incident which occurred on the 18th of April 2019, impacted about 50,000 persons when the facility located at Opuekaba flowstation onshore Awoye community exploded causing fire which affected the Abereke and Abereke Sea side which are predominantly fishermen and farmers. He said that the community would want the Senate President to use his good to ensure that some of the issues raised by the community are resolved amicably.

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But Chevron had alleged that a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) to the site of the incident on Saturday April 20, 2019, by a team made up of regulatory agencies, community stakeholders and CNL, determined that the fire incident was caused by third-party interference. There were protective mechanical components and installed barriers on the well head, which were tampered with by illegal bunkerers,” he said.

The fire outbreak/ oil explosion happened on Thursday the 18th of April 2019 at its Ojumole oil wells and pipelines which affected Opuekaba flowstation onshore Awoye Community Estuary, Isan West, Panabe, Malu and Ororo oil fields offshore Ilaje local government in Ondo State.

The petitioners said that CNL’S oil wells and fields mentioned above were connected with the pipeline from onshore to offshore in Ilaje local government to make their operations easy by which oil produced from these fields and other fields in Ilaje land was stored at Escravos Tank Farms in Escravos Estuary onshore the Niger Delta.

According to Taiwo Aiyedetiwa, “All the oil wells/ fields were operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited on Oil Mining Leases (OMLS) 49 and 95, respectively,in Ilaje local government of Ondo State.”

He further alleged that the fire outbreak and the consequent oil explosion was due to negligence on the part of the company, the communities said, that the oil explosion that resulted from the Ojumole well fire outbreak spilled through Awoye Community Estuary and other canal/ waterways from the nearby communities where the incident occurred to the sea in large quantity where it spread to Abereke Community Estuary through waves, tides, and currents, destroying properties, human and aquatic lives as well as fauna.

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