Yemisi Izuora/Agency Report
A broken crude pipeline in Nigeria’s Niger Delta oil hub has caused a massive spill polluting around ten communities, a lawyer mandated by residents has said.
Oil spills from blown up or faulty pipelines have been drivers for an insurgency in the Delta where militants fight for a greater share of oil revenues and a cleaner environment.
A pipeline operated by state oil firm NNPC running from Escravos to Warri has been leaking crude since it went bust on August 17 in Delta state, lawyer Eldridge Emekawovie said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“Crude has spilled into all their communities with their people suffocating from the gas content contained in the crude oil,” he said, asking Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu to help.
“If urgent steps are not taken to arrest the situation, their communities may be engulfed by a massive fire outbreak,” the lawyer said on behalf of the affected communities.
He accused NNPC of having ignored the spill and not sending a team to inspect the site.
NNPC could not be immediately reached for comment.
Nigeria’s oil production has fallen by 700,000 barrels per day since the start of the year due to attacks by militants. One militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, said in August it had agreed to a ceasefire.
The government has held out the prospect of holding talks on the grievances of people in the Delta with militant groups that maintain a truce but nothing concrete has emerged publicly.