Impacted host communities of the recent oil spill in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state, allege to be from the Utonana Trunkline belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) have promised to disrupt repair works of the said pipeline if they are not paid compensations.
The impacted communities which are located close to the site of the oil spill which occurred on 18 February 2021 are Ighosuogbene, Teidegbene, Ebiabu-ama, Jones creek, Edeuba, and Ogidadunor communities.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday, 2 March 2021, and signed by the following representatives of the affected communities: Comrade Jackson Timiyan, Chairman, Ighosuogbene community; Elder Sampson Teide, Chairman Teidegbene community; Mr. Godfrey Bifuagha, Chairman Ebiabu-ama community; Mr. Ark Selegha, Chairman, Jones Creek community; Mr. Johnson Powede, Chairman Edeuba community; and Mr. Mike Ari, Chairman, Ogidadunor community.
According to the statement, the lives of inhabitants of the communities are in jeopardy as the source of their livelihoods has been negatively impacted by the oil spill as well as posing danger to their health, being that they are situated in close proximity to the location of the incident.
They also called on the American oil multinational company to conduct a Joint Investigation Verification, JIV, with representatives of the affected communities participating in the exercise among other agencies such as the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
“Teidegbene, Ighosuogbene, Ebiabuama, Jones creek, Edeuba, Ogidadunor communities located close to Utonana flowstation where the oil spill occurred since on the 18th February, 2021 are crying out for the adverse effects of the oil spill on their communities,” the statement reads.
“And that as communities closest to the scene of the incident their entire livelihood has been crumbled since the occurrence of the oil spill with peoples lives put at risk with the prevalent hazard.
“We are therefore calling on Chevron Nigeria Limited, operators of Utonana Field to swiftly carry out a Joint Inspection Verification (JIV) with all concerned regulatory agencies such as NOSDRA, DPR, Ministry of Environment and our communities representatives a part of that JIV otherwise we will resist and constrain any attempt to carry out a repair on the trunkline without adequate compensation of damage paid to our communities respectively,” the statement warned.
There has been reports of oil spill from the Abiteye and Utonana fields, assets belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), the operator of the joint venture between it and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
However, the oil giant in its earlier response to the oil spill has debunked such claims saying “CNL has investigated and continues to surveil its Assets in the Abiteye Field including the 16” Makaraba-Utonana-Abiteye Right of Way (ROW) and confirms that there has not been any oil spill from its Assets in Abiteye and Utonana fields”.