Location:  Ikarama Community, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
GPS Coordinate…Elev: 14m, N 05®10.242’, E 006®26.648’
Date of visit: 27 July, 2010

ERA/FoEN received an alert on a gas leakage and oil spill along Agip’s pipeline from Ikarama Community, Bayelsa State on the 27 July, 2010. ERA field monitors subsequently visited the site where gas was noticed escaping from the pipe. Some quantity of petroleum products was also noticed in the immediate environment spewing along with the gas.
Natives are hunters, farmers and fishing folks and the community can be accessed by land.
A similar incident had occurred at the same pipeline at Kalaba Community about a month ago. However, while the content of the newly laid pipeline that leaked around Kalaba Community could not be verified, this particular pipeline from which the gas is leaking presently at Ikarama conveys semi-refined crude oil. When it leaked in March 2009 in the environment of Kalaba community, it started out as gas but ended up with semi refined crude oil. When ERA field monitor arrived the present site of leakage, apart a young man seen cutting grass around the Well Head Site, nobody was at the site and AGIP (owner of the facility) was yet to repair the pipe.

•    The point of leakage

•    Spreading gas in the environment


MR.WASHINGTON ODOYIBO: …Like I told you, I noticed the spill yesterday afternoon when I went into the bush to set some animal traps. I also engage in this too, trapping animals. And as you know we own this all this area, though Agip access the facility through Rivers State, instead of passing through our community. As you can see, apart from the gas there is also some quantity of oil spewed into the environment. This was the same pipeline that ruptured early last year around the boundary between us and Kalaba community. Even at that time [last year] it started like this and eventually graduated to the spewing of semi-refined petroleum product. Yes, I say semi- refined because some people scooped it and used it directly in their stoves and lanterns.
This incident must have occurred about two days ago; it is very recent and that is most people in our community are not yet aware of it. It was the sound of the force with which it was escaping from the pipeline that actually attracted me to it yesterday, I was going about my animal trap business. And because it was a familiar sound I decided to locate the spot. My major concern is the pollution in the environment; the whole air is saturated with this gaseous substance from the pipe. It will not only affect the air, the bodies of water around here will equally be impacted. And some of these are lakes, ponds and swamps where we fish. Unless Agip comes to stop it in time, it will cause much harm to our people in terms of health and livelihood….
Evelyn Okah, Secretary Ikarama Community Women
..We the women are not happy about this leakage because we have been forced to stop going to the farms because there might be an explosion. You have seen how dangerous the environment is and in all this Agip has not deemed it fit to do something fast about it to save us this problem. We are calling on AGIP to come and stop the leakage and also cleanup the spill. They must also compensate us adequately for all our losses….

It was observed that instead of accessing the site directly from Ikarama, the site can only be accessed after going through JK4 [Edagberi],in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State. The first signs that welcomed ERA to the site was the rising and falling sounds of the gaseous substance spewing into the environment from the pipeline, about 100 meters from a well head identified as Agip’s Taylor Creek 1 Well Head. The gas was observed being sprayed high into the air and, the air around was thick with the gaseous emission. Signs of oil accompanying the gas were very obvious as the liquid substance around the immediate environment displayed the colours of crude oil/petroleum product. When approached from the Well Head, the gas could be seen spraying towards the right side of the pipeline, directing falling on the trees and shrubs in that direction; as the ruptured spot was on the right side of the six inches pipe, about one and half meters below the surface of the ground.

1    Agip should mobilise immediately to site to stop the raging gas/oil leakage at Ikarama.
2    A Joint Investigation Visit [JIV] should be arranged immediately to ascertain the cause of leakage and report of the JIV made available to all stakeholders, including the community.
3    The people of Ikarama should have a copy of the JIV report and all legitimate steps must be made to ensure they obtain it from the JIV team.
4    The impacted site should be cleaned up
5    Agip should adequately and promptly compensate the Ikarama Community for specific and general damage to the environment and property.
6    The Federal and State authorities should take appropriate steps to ensure the above, that the impacted site is not only cleaned, but that the polluter pays adequately.

1.    Send letters to Agip offices demanding that they clamp the gas leak point and their spill in Ikarama

2.    Demand that they pay adequate compensations.

3.    Send copies of your letters to news media near to you and also share on social networks

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