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Group Urges Probe Of Ogoni Pipeline Explosion

“We are shocked at the level of this spill, its management, and the arrest of Shell contractors in the immediate aftermath on suspicion of involvement with oil theft. There are so many questions about an incident near one of the most politically and environmentally sensitive areas in the Niger Delta.”

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By: Anayo Onukwugha on July 6, 2013

A group, the National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND) has called for immediate investigation into the fire on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), a major facility belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company, in Ogoniland, Rivers State.

The body said the probe became necessary to ascertain if the facility which supplies crude from Shell’s facilities in the Eastern Niger Delta to the Bonny Terminal can still operate safely, as a result of the fire.

Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, NACGOND deputy coordinator, Rev. Fr. Edward Obi, stated that the call became necessary following a fire and spill that broke out in the south of Bodo community in Gokana Local Government Area of the state on June 19, 2013, resulting in the death of two persons and injuring of several others.

Obi said although Shell has reportedly shut down the TNP, the pipeline, which is over 50 years of age, carried 150,000 barrels of crude per day to Bonny, on June 8, and the remaining pipelines on June 19, 2012. The spill, which is estimated at several thousand barrels of crude, was stopped on June 26, 2013, during the conclusion of a joint inspection visit (JIV), attended by the group.

Obi said: “We are shocked at the level of this spill, its management, and the arrest of Shell contractors in the immediate aftermath on suspicion of involvement with oil theft. There are so many questions about an incident near one of the most politically and environmentally sensitive areas in the Niger Delta.”

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