By Ebiowei Lawal
*Oil well test running, not gas leakage”–ConOil consultant
YENAGOA-There is anxiety in Koluama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State following a gas leakage from the ConOil well head 4 and 5 located at Tamazo area of the Community.
But Hon. Bello Bina, a security consultant with the Conoil Nigeria Limited has dismissed as “false alarm” and “misplaced” the claims that a strange gas leakage occurred which he described as oil well testing by experts at ConOil at the Oil well head 4 and 5 of ConOil in Koluama 1 community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Council of the State
The incident, which was noticed on Wednesday night, has thrown indigenes of the area into fear and provoked the anger of the Umbrella body of Ijaw Youths worldwide known as the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC).
An environmentalists, Comrade Morris Alagoa of the Environmental Right Action (ERA), confirmed that the serious gas leak has continued since last night from Ango 4,Conoil’s Wellhead in the environment.
According to him,” the Efforts to stop the eruption has been unsuccessful by company officials since last night and, it is still raging on.Saturating the environment with dangerous gas capable of causing cancer and other harms to man”.
Reacting to the development, the Ijaw Youths Council through the Chairman, Central Zone, Comrade Tare Porri, have threatened to occupy the production platforms of the Oil company if the strange Gas leakage are not contained.
The IYC threatened to invade facilities of an oil major, Conoil Plc, over the company’s alleged failure to address the gas explosion at its Agulo oilfield, wells 4 and 5, in Koluama, Bayelsa State.
The Chairman, IYC, Central Zone, Tare Porri, lamented that since the explosion occurred on Monday, nothing had been done to tackle the explosion which spills had spread to other communities near Koluama, Tamazo area of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
He said, “Today, we are very pained and as I address this press conference, Ijaw youths, especially Koluama clan, have mobilised massively to invade the Conoil facilities in that domain,”
We are, therefore, using this forum to call on the authorities of the oil company that we are giving them within the next 24 hours to send their officials to address the issue that is currently going on at oilfield, well 4 and 5 gas explosion.
“We hereby affirm that if nothing was done within the ultimatum period, Ijaw youths will have no other choice but to vent their anger at the firm’s operational sites. ”
He also said that the Central Zone had reached out to security agencies, particularly the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the Department of State Services on the happenings around that environment.
Porri rationalised that if the firm failed to remedy the situation, then Ijaw youths would interpret it to mean that the company was no longer interested in doing business in their area.
He added, “We don’t want anything to happen in Koluama community; our environment is being damaged, our people’s means of livelihood, the ecosystem, and all of that are being affected. As we speak, the only livelihood which is fishing has been drastically affected.
“For the past three days, our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, cannot go for fishing as the entire waterways have been contaminated. As it appears, nothing can be done by community-folks on their own because they do not have what it takes to clean up that quantum mess in the environment.
“So, as a body, we are calling on the management of Conoil to quickly stop the spills from the explosion, believing that they will also immediately commence clean-up of the impacted environment.
“There must be remedial measures to ensure that environment is cleaned up within the shortest possible time because this community has suffered this kind of damage a few years ago.
“We cannot fold our arms this time around and watch our aged mothers and fathers go through the same situation.
“It’s on this note that we are calling on the Joint Military Task Force, Operation Delta Safe; the DSS; the police; the Minister of State for Petroleum and the NNPC to prevail on the management of Conoil to please come urgently and remedy the terrible danger awaiting Koluama community. ”
Porri also reminded the relevant authorities that most pipelines criss-crossing the Niger Delta environment had expired, insisting that there was the urgent need to replace them in order to reduce the incidence of explosions, “As we can all see and feel, the incident that occurred in Koluama was as a result of equipment failure and we have always said that most of the oil explosions in our environment are caused by corrosion. This is beause most of the gas and oil pipelines have expired,” he explained.
“Oil well test running, not gas leakage occurred in Koluama”–Bello Bina
Hon. Bello Bina, a security consultant with the Conoil Nigeria Limited has dismissed as “false alarm” and “misplaced” the claims that a strange gas leakage occurred at the Oil well head 4 and 5 of ConOil in Koluama 1 community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Council of the State
According to Hon.Bello Bina, the smokes noticed from the Oil well heads were routine testing and clearing of a gas well before resumption of normal gas operation.
Hon. Bina called for calm among indigenes of the host communities, promising that ConOil is a responsible and responsive organisation.
“What the company is doing is test running their gas wells and it is not a dangerous activity to human lives.”