Multinational oil companies are not committed to environmental sustainability ― Mulade

The refusal of oil multinationals to accept responsibility for their systemic environmental degradation through oil spills has been condemned.

Niger Delta environmentalist and Human Rights crusader, Sheriff Mulade, made the observation on the background of alleged Chevron Nigeria Ltd’s (CNL) denial of the oil spill in Benikrukru communities of Gbaramatu kingdom of Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

According to him, CNL’s failure to accept responsibility for the Gbaramatu oil spill that had continued to ravage the area for almost two months is a deliberate plan to undermine the wellbeing of the affected communities.

He argued that Chevron’s claim that its facilities in the affected area were not responsible for the oil spill because the pressure in its control room did not indicate that there was a leakage or a drop somewhere was not tenable.

Mulade, who fielded questions from journalists in Warri, urged Chevron to be honest enough to re-examine its claim, as there could be system failure that had made it difficult for it to detect the leakage from its facilities in the affected area.

While admitting that Chevron shares facilities with the Nigerian Petroleum Devel­opment Company (NPDC), Field Jones Creek Flowstation former SPDC in the affected area, he said Chevron’s 16 inches Crude Line runs from Makaraba, through Otunana to Abiteye and the leakage is between Otunana and Abiteye.

The environmental activist said from the detailed investigations carried out by his NGO, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) on the oil spill, the leakage was at the centre of Nana River, located between Kokodiagbane and Benikrukru.

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He explained further that the two communities are adjacent and opposite each other, while in-between them is the Nana River that is a ship line route, where all vessels pass through to Sapele, Koko and Lagos ports.

Disclosing that Chevron facilities in the area might not be exonerated from the spill, Chief Mulade said, “If you do an overflight like I hear Chevron did, you may not be able to see the point of leakage because the spill is deep under the river and you may not see it when you move around but only when the tide slows down.

“And because the spill is gas pressured, you stand a chance of being suffocated in the area if you stay there for more than five to ten minutes. That is the extent to which the spill is dangerous,” he added.

He said CEPEJ observed this and had called on Chevron to immediately address the spill, but the response from the company has not been impressive.

“It is even more worri­some to observe that our investiga­tions revealed that the spill is gorging out gradually from a ‘needle leakage’, hence it is difficult to note early or detect.

The peace and environmental right advocate frowned at multinationals oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta region, describing them “as civilised evil in the land that are only committed to environmental sustainability on paper and not in practical terms.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multinational oil companies are not committed to environmental sustainability ― Mulade

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