Location:  Ikarama Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State
GPS Coordinates:  Elev: 9m N05°09.856’ E006°26.385’… Elev: 6m N05°09.856’ E006°26.397’
Date of Visit: 09-07-13


Ikarama community may not need further introduction as ERA/FoEN has visited the community several times to document oil impact. ERA/FoEN had course to visit Ikarama again in the early hours of Tuesday, 9th July, 2013 following reports of a fresh spill along Agip pipeline that was raging in gaseous form.
Community folks that alerted ERA/FoEN on the spill said it was close to Agip’s Taylor Creek Well 1 and that the spill was spraying seriously into the air like gas.
The ERA/FoEN team arrived the community very early on the above date [July 9, 2013 and were led to the spill site by a member of Ikarama Community Development Committee, Mr. Washington Odoyibo. Community folks were reluctant to talk since they said they are becoming fed up with the same questions as regards the series of oil spill within the community environment.
Irrespective of this, some vital details were obtained from the ERA/FoEN guide while the visit to the spill site lasted.

Washington Odoyibo said: The sound from the spill site could be heard even from our community, especially in the night when everything is relatively quiet. That confirms that it is a really serious spill. I first heard the sound the day before yesterday, being Sunday [7th July, 2013] and my mind never went to spill. I thought it was loggers in the forest cutting down trees with their machine. It was just yesterday [Monday, 8th July, 2013] one of our community ladies returned from the bush and told us that there was a very serious oil spill spraying like gas into the air, along Agip pipeline.

When she described the area to us, I knew it was a distance between the community and one of the Agip oil wells within our environment. Nobody can actually tell us the day the spill started but it might have started between Saturday and Sunday. As per the cause of spill; you can see with me that it is not easy to get close to the spill point because of the way the whole environment is covered with crude oil fumes. Hence one cannot even guess the cause. Although we have noticed a second spill point along the pipeline, this major spill point is almost at the junction between Shell’s Trans-Niger Pipeline [which used to bring crude oil from Ughelli, in Delta State to the Manifold in Ikarama] and this Agip pipeline…


The familiar sound was the first tell-tale sign as the ERA/FoEN team arrived the Taylor Creek Well 1 site. The sound also indicated that it was quite some distance away from the Wellhead, going toward Ikarama. The major spill point was sighted far away after walking about 50 meters away from the Wellhead toward the direction of the sound. The GPS Coordinate taken at this point read: Elev 2m N05°10.213’ E 006°26.655’. Attempts were made to take some shots at the spill point far away; as the crude oil could be sighted spraying into the air from the left side of the pipeline across to the right side and into the air. The shots taken were zoomed from this point. It took about 20 minutes walk to get a close enough for clear shots of the spill point;  The crude oil fumes in the air  and sound was very intimidating.

Although the grasses along the pipeline between the Taylor Creek Wellhead 1 and the spill impacted environment remained green, the scenario changed within the impacted environment; grasses and trees were noticed either dead, wilting or just completely covered by the crude oil spewed into the environment. The colour of the vegetation around the impacted environment was anything but green. From experience it is clear that not only these grasses and trees within the immediate environment, but even other plants, animals and bodies of water away from the site would be affected negatively, including the fumes being inhaled by humans and animal. This makes such spills spraying into the air even more dangerous in some ways. Another observation was the presence of some crude oil within the environment that must have been part of the substance being spewed from the pipeline.  

With the high pressure the crude oil substance is spraying into the atmosphere for the whole of the 24 hours of the day and for days, unless Agip mobilize immediately to contain the situation much damaged would be done to the ecosystem.

1    Agip act promptly to lessen the pressure along the pipeline and effect clamping of the ruptured spot.
2    A JIT visit to the spill site and report made available to all represented in the JIT.
3    More efforts be made to put an end to the spills within this environment
4    The issue of third party involvement be properly investigated in all cases and addressed squarely as the spills are rather damaging to the people and the fragile ecosystem.

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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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