Sep 27, 2016

Ogoni: Explosion at Shell Petroleum Facility Causes Panic and Frustration in Local Community

An explosion on 26 September 2016 at a Shell Petroleum Development facility in the Ogoniland township of Goi has caused palpable panic among the local community, long frustrated by unfulfilled environmental promises by the Nigerian Government. The explosion at the Agbada/Bomu trunk line came just metres away from a nearby military surveillance post. Local activists highlighted both the environmental damage oil extraction has done as well as the negligence by the Nigerian government regarding safety and environmental recommendations.

The article below is courtesy of Sahara Reporters

A trunk line carrying crude oil in the Gio community in the Ogoniland area of Rivers State became engulfed in dark plumes of smoke and flames on Monday morning. The trunk line belongs to the Shell Petroleum Development Company. Celestine Akpobari, an environmental activist who visited the site, said the inferno occurred just a few meters away from a military surveillance post. According to him, the fire immediately followed the sound of an eruption affecting the Agbada/Bomu trunk line.

"Gio, another Ogoni community, is on fire this early morning from an eruption on the 28-inch Agbada/Bomu trunkline belonging to Shell, which is just a few meters from the surveillance post," he told our correspondent. "The first eruption which led to a serious fire outbreak occurred in the same community last July 10, 2016, leading to a complete destruction of livelihoods belonging to the entire Akpene kindred," he explained.

He also noted, "The [United Nations Environmental Program] recommended immediate decommissioning [of the trunk line] and I think it is high time Shell remove their pipeline from Ogoni," the activist stated.  It will be recalled that oil facilities like this have been the target of militant groups in the Niger Delta area since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office last year.

Photo Courtesy of Sahara Reporters