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Businessday Online (Nigeria): Shell blames third party interference for oil spillages

JOHN UWE on 13 November, 2007

Shell Petroleum Development Company has attributed the causes of most of the oil spillages in its flow stations and pipelines to third party interference.

Head, media relations SPDC-West, Aoiri Obaigbo in an interactive session in Warri said most of the spills being experienced were as a result of the activities of illegal bunkers that vandalism of the facilities of the company.

He said the recent spill at Odidi 1& 11 flow stations was caused by activities of third party interference who vandalised the oil wells that had been shot down since February 2006.

Obaigbo visibly disappointed by the development, said activities of the saboteurs had been going on unchecked as they were not reported to security agencies or appropriate authorities for action.

He noted that every barrel of oil siphoned illegally by thieves affects the nation’s economy and all Nigerians as the oil belong to all of us.

Obaigbo observed that it is not the duty of the SPDC to arrest petroleum thieves or those that vandalized oil facilities, adding that it is the duty of law enforcement agencies.

According to him, the SPDC operates within the limitation of the law and therefore could not take some decisions in its operations

He said there were reports of theft of condensate on display for sale along streets, damaging car engines, causing explosions that have claimed lives of many Nigerians and yet nothing was being done to check it.

Meanwhile, one suspect has been arrested in connection with the recent fire outbreak along a vandalised condensate pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company at Otor-Edo in Ughelli-South Local Government Area of Delta State.

The suspect was at Effurun-Otor Health Centre where he was receiving treatment for wounds he sustained during the fire explosion. He is currently in the custody of security operatives.

Confirming the arrest, President-General of Otor-Edo, David Ukpaka said the suspect was not a bunker, but a fisherman.

Ukpaka said no casualty was recorded in the incident, adding that four persons got injured, while four that were missing were later found.

The President blamed the SPDC for not responding to earlier call by the community on the company to repair the vandalized pipeline two months ago.

“We reported two leakage points to the SPDC , but the company only clamped only one, so it is the untouched one that exploded, damaging the aquatic life of the area”, he said.

http://businessdayonline.com/National/1060.html

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