Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and its host communities have differed on leaks reported at Funiwa Oil Fields operated by the oil film off Bayelsa shoreline.
Fishermen operating near the Atlantic Ocean coastline had on Sunday reported an oil leak suspected to be from the Funiwa Fields.
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While the fishermen from CNL’s host community at Koluama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area pointed accusing fingers at Chevron, the oil firm denied the allegations.
Reacting to this, Esimaje Brikinn, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, at Chevron, said in an email response that there was no oil leakage from its operations in Bayelsa.
“Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and CNL (the NNPC/CNL JV), confirms that there has been no oil spill incident at any of its facilities in Bayelsa State,” he said.
However, Chief Young Fabby, a community leader in Koluama 1, said on the telephone on Monday that the denial by Chevron was merely a ploy to evade liability for the leak and associated pollution.
He said that Chevron had deployed several helicopters to apply chemical dispersants to dissolve and breakdown the oil deposits on the water surface without the knowledge of stakeholders in a bid to cover up the spill.
When contacted, the Director General, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Idris Musa, said the Agency would dispatch its officials to the Funiwa Field to ascertain the source and cause of the leak.