Daewoo’s Operation Causes Oil Spillage in Peretorugbene

Location:       Peretorugbene Community, in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State

Accessibility: Peretorugbene can only be accessed by water or air.

Occupation:  Fishing and Farming

Date of Visit:  26th July, 2008

Reported by:  Morris Alagoa (with Mr Brown Seleebikeme)


Peretorugbene is the hometown of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, General Owoye Azizi.  The community can be accessed by boat from Yenagoa or from Bomadi in Delta Sate.  It is fairly large community, like is the case with most other Ijaw towns in Ekeremor L.G.A, which are situated along the Bolou Toru River. The community’s closest neighbours are: Ozobo, Letugbene, Belabri and Amatu (some, though Ijaw Communities, are politically in Delta State).

Peretorugbene community is host to Shell’s oil facilities – pipelines and a manifold.

The Spill

At Peretorugbene: The C.D.C Chairman, Mr Freedom T. Yinkere commented on the recent oil spill in the environment. ERA monitors could not gain access to the spill site to take photographs as that was only possible with the permission of the Community’s Welfare Committee. Incidentally, neither the Community’s Paramount Ruler nor any of the Welfare Committee members was in town when ERA visited  

Mr Freedom T. Yinkere: told ERA monitors that,

“Yes, an oil spillage occurred in this community in early July, 2008, from Shell’s pipeline, opposite the manifold known as Brass Creek Manifold. The cause of the spill was never in doubt and it was not contested by Shell. It was a Shell contractor, Daewoo that was working around the facility on that fateful day when it caused a rupture on the pipeline. And, though Shell officials arrived at the site the following day and tried to use booms to contain the oil slick, it took Shell another four or five days to actually clamp the damaged spot on the pipe.

The vast oil slick affected most of our rivulets and fishing settlements along the river. After the incident, a team comprising officials of Daewoo, Shell, Federal and State Governments and community members visited the site. Although the JIT report has not been signed, owing to some disagreement as per the affected area in terms of community boundary, an estimated 1,580 barrels of crude oil spill was recorded in the report. If you (ERA) had visited when the joint team was carrying out its assignment; it would have been most auspicious.

Another member of the community, Moses P. Money and special adviser to the Chairman of the C.D.C, on youth matters corroborated the testimony of Mr Yinkere and added:

“Like the Chairman has just explained to you, a team (including valuers invited by the community) visited the spill site. While we wait for the much-needed final agreement as it relates to our boundary, where the oil slick spread to, it is equally hoped that a proper assessment of the damages caused by the spill would soon be made known to the community and Shell. I observed that, Shell brought some equipment such as water pump to suck away what they were able to contain (of the slick) with the boom.

“Because of the oil spillage, most of our rivulets where our people go to catch fish were affected. Dead fishes, birds and animals were commonplace here after the spill occurred. Besides all these, let me also add that since Shell began operations here as far back as the 70’s (till date), this community has not received any form of assistance from the company. It is as bad as that. We thank God that this is a clear case of Shell’s own fault and our community has never contemplated sabotaging Shell’s facility any day. And, because there are more competent persons to speak on what the community would demand from Shell as a result of the impact of the spill on our environment, I shall not speak further.”


The flood season has started in the area and the river now flows only to one direction and communities after Peretorugbene such as Ozobo (which is in Delta State ) were also impacted by the spill. And, since the spill is still very fresh, its impact on the environment, especially on the vegetation, may not be appreciated now.  Because of the fast flowing current of the river, it is believed that (if not for the oil slick that got into rivulets) almost all of it may have emptied into the sea.


·Shell should accept that the spill is due to their fault and do what is necessary to alleviate sufferings of the people as it relates to loss of fishing gears and general damage to the environment.

·The government, through the Ministry of Environment and other agencies involved, should ensure that the proper thing is done by Shell, to the community.

·The community should be given its own copy of the Joint Inspection Team report.

What You Can Do

  • Write to NNPC and Shell asking them to clean up the spill and compensate affected communities.
  • Monitor your environment and report incidents of environmental pollution and degradation to ERA’s toll-free Green Lines – 08031230088 and 08031230089

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Photo Speak

The general assembly of Oilwatch International will take place this year in the city of Quito, Ecuador from the 21st of July till the 27th of July, 2011.

Click here for details


ERA has recently received information that a group calling itself the "Niger Delta Coalition in the Diaspora" is still engaging itself in activities and communications giving the impression that it is linked with Environmental Rights Action (ERA).

This group issues out communications using ERA's headquarter address and mail box. We have never had any ties with this group and any views, comments or opinions expressed by them is not endorsed or authorized by any member of management or staff of ERA.

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Is there a spill, pipeline rupture, fire, gas flare, water, land or air pollution in your community or one you know about? Do you need assistance to respond, and prevent future occurrences or have you noticed any activity that threatens the environment?

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