Oil Spill at Ikarama Community, Nigeria

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Ikarama is located in Okordia Clan of Yenogoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The community is host to the Okordia-Rumuekpe Trunk Line own by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in the state. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">The high rate of equipment failure has resulted to frequent oil spills in the area, which has impacted on the economic wellbeing of the community people. Destroying farmlands, swamps, ponds and lakes. There are thick volumes (up to 7 inches) of crude oil inside the borrow pit and lake around the oil wells. Several economic trees and shrubs have been completely destroyed and the entire landscapes have been loss. <br/><br/>Ikarama has been in the news for some time now as one of the most polluted communities in the Niger Delta. The pollution of Ikarama environment has been through oil spillages from ruptured pipelines owned by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). Between June and December, 2008 the Ikarama people and environment experienced five oil spills from Shell's facility. The last of the above spills occurred on the 7th of December, 2008 along the Ughelli/Rumuekpe trunk line, at a spot that had ruptured some years back. Sadly, even though Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC] knew about the rupture and was at Ikarama the day after the spill occurred, the crude oil was allowed to spew into the environment for about seven weeks before SPDC returned to effect clamping. As a result, several thousand barrels of crude oil flowed freely into the nearby Obroun lake and, spread to the Oya lake and environs; destroying aquatic lives and deprived the families that owned the lakes a major source of livelihood. <br/><br/>Even though SPDC awarded a recovery contract soon after clamping was done on the ruptured spot [on the pipeline], the uncontrollable fire that gutted the whole oil spill impacted area on Sunday 1st of March, 2009 and its resultant effect is still the subject matter here. Since this matter was tracked right from the early days of the spill [in December, 2008], it was only appropriate that follow up visits be made to keep pace with developments [Field report #200]. <br/><br/>Instead of proper clean up of the several spill sites in the community, Shell has allegedly resorted to setting fire to such spill impacted sites; a very wrong approach to clean up. The last of such fires occurred on Sunday 1st of March, 2009. <br/><br/>Though none of the spill impacted sites has been cleaned, Shell's recent claim in the media that they have commenced clean up in oil spill impacted sites in Ikarama prompted ERA to visit the community with the Africa Independent Television (AIT) to confirm or place Shell's claim in perspective. ERA and AIT visited Ikarama on April 24, 2009. <br/><br/>Vaccum tracks used by Shell:<br/><br/>ERA/FoEN field reporters have discovered that in the last few weeks Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC] has been using vacuum trucks to evacuate crude oil directly from a manifold it operates, situated in Ikarama community. Shell's Okordia manifold receives crude oil from oil wells around Biseni and JK4 [Edagberi community] passing through the Adibawa flowstation. <br/><br/>This strange task of loading vacuum trucks with crude oil from the manifold involves opening valves on the pipes in the manifold to pump crude oil into stationed trucks that convey same to unknown destinations six or seven times daily. <br/><br/>Though a lot of physical activity has been going on in and around the facility, in the last six days four leakages have been recorded inside the manifold. It is interesting to note that on the 23rd of January, 2014 three minor spills occurred while the workers were still on site and the spills were promptly contained inside the manifold area fenced with block work. <br/><br/>Unfortunately around 6:30 pm on the 26th of same month,two and half hours after Shell workers had closed and left the site for the day, crude oil was noticed gushing inside the manifold and continued to flow in a high pressure until about 7:00 am the next day when it dramatically reduced to a halt. <br/><br/>In the morning the crude oil had spread out of the manifold into the nearby bushes and swamps, with some quantities found stagnant in a spot closed to the manifold jeopardizing the environment. <br/><br/>On arrival at the community and moving towards the site of interest, the first tell-tale sign in the atmosphere was the contaminated environment and repulsive smell of crude oil ferried by the wind. The stench intensified and caused a choking effect as ERA/FoEN's field monitors advanced to the manifold; the actual site of the spill. <br/><br/>Even without a proper examination to ascertain the cause of spill, the company's initial response when some SPDC officials visited to stop the leak was to attribute the cause to third party involvement [sabotage].The natives resolved that the leakage would not have come about if the workers had not tampered with the equipment. When some SPDC officials visited again in the morning of 30th January, 2014 to investigate the spread of the spill in the environment, some were heard saying that the incident was due to an equipment failure. They said it was valve failure inside the manifold. Community folks who heard the comments informed ERA/FoEN promptly. <br/><br/>The two infernos Another issue concerning two wild fires that occurred on the 19th of December 2013 and the 13th of January2014 was also inquired. The infernos which were ignited by unknown youths in the community threatened occupants of three thatched houses in the two occasions if not for the prompt intervention of some youths. Fire was set on dead grass that were drenched in crude oil in an oil spill impacted site which, was earlier cleared and heaped during attempts to recover spilt crude oil. As at the time of this report more than nine of such heaps of grasses were still left untreated or evacuated. Leaving such crude oil soaked materials within the environment portends danger of fire and related issue. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Oil Spill at Ikarama Community, Nigeria</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/nigeria">Nigeria</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Bayelsa State</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Okordia clan of Yenagoa local Government area</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Oil and gas exploration and extraction<br /> Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/crude-oil'>Crude oil</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>30000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>11/2011</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/shell-petroleum-development-company'>Shell Petroleum Development Company <small>(SPDC)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/nigeria'><small>Nigeria</small></a><br /><a href='/company/royal-dutch-shell'>Royal Dutch Shell <small>(RDS)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/netherlands'><small>Netherlands</small></a><br /><a href='/company/nigerian-national-petroleum-corporation'>Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation <small>(NNPC)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/nigeria'><small>Nigeria</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Nigeria Federal Government agencies, such as NESREA and NOSDRA. NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulation Agency) has responsibility for the protection and development of the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of Nigerias natural resources in general and environmental technology including coordination, and liaison with, relevant stakeholders within and outsider Nigeria on maters of enforcement of environmental standards, regulations, rules, laws policies and guidelines</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Environmental Rights Action/FOEN, Oilwatch Nigeria</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Fishermen<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> Informal workers<br /> Landless peasants<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Trade unions<br /> Women</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Development of alternative proposals<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Air pollution, Genetic contamination, Global warming, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Groundwater pollution or depletion</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Other environmental related diseases</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Under negotiation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>-Shell should respond promptly by visiting the spill site and affected families and community leaders of Ikarama Community.<br/><br/>-A well constituted JIV team should visit the spill site which, must include: Representatives from the community whose farmland has been greatly affected, and other relevant agencies from government and Shell.<br/><br/>-Recommendations of the Joint Investigation team report should address the impact. And, such recommendations should be implemented fully by Shell and any other concerned agencies and representatives.<br/><br/>-Adequate compensation should be paid for damages to crops, impacted farmlands, and to affected individuals.<br/><br/>-Shell must commence adequate clean up of the spill.<br/><br/>-The relevant agencies of Government and environmental/human rights groups should follow up this incident to ensure that Shell should full responsibility for this spill incident<br/><br/>Generally, Shell should take immediate steps to clean up its polluted sites in Ikarama community.<br/><br/>And also:<br/><br/>-Stop the unwholesome practice of setting fire on oil spill sites in Ikarama. They should adopt internationally recognised best practices.<br/><br/>-The Local, State and Federal Governments should ensure Shell carries out effective clean up and remediation of the polluted environment <br/><br/>-Shell pays compensation to victims of oil spill/ fire in Ikarama.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Despite the several spills by Shell and Other Oil Multinationals, the community people have continue to count their lost, as no proper clean up nor compensation are carried out.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> NESREA ACT, Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette. No.92, Vol 94. Lagos ,31st July, 2007.<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Shell Reports Fresh Oil Spill on Adibawa Delivery Line by THIS DAY LIVE on 41th November, 2011<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Bayelsa community records 14th case of oil spill from Shell pipeline by SweetCrude Reports on November 13th, 2011<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Field Report #203: Corporate lies of Shell Exposed at Ikarama<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.eraction.org/component/content/article/161" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Field Report #200 - Update on Ikarama Oil Spill Fire<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.eraction.org/component/content/article/157" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Field Report #280:Fresh spill in Ikarama deprives locals of livelihoods<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Shell Reports Fresh Oil Spill on Adibawa Delivery Line<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/shell-reports-fresh-oil-spill-on-adibawa-delivery-line/102759/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Sweet crude reports<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://sweetcrudereports.com/2011/11/13/bayelsa-community-record-14th-case-of-oil-spill-from-shell-pipeline/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> PM news Nigeria<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2011/08/18/fire-outbreak-at-oil-spill-sites-in-bayelsa/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Market Watch<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shell-reports-six-oil-spills-in-niger-delta-2011-08-22" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Shell Games in Nigeria, by Sasha Chavkin<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.sashachavkin.com/?p=171" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> ERA<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.eraction.org/component/content/article/349" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJxNhMXwoqY" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Afoke Ohwojeheri</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>17/06/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>