Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) yesterday denied that the fire outbreak from a stockpile of crude in two communities in Ogbia in Bayelsa State did not come from its operations.
Speaking in Yenagoa, the state capital, the SPDC Media Relations Manager, Bamidele Odugbesan, said that the company had no knowledge of the fire outbreak on Kolo Creek at Emeyal 1 and 2 communities.
New Telegraph learnt that the fire outbreak was alleged to have been ignited by unknown person on layers of crude on the Kolo Creek waters burnt for several hours on Sunday, which compelled residents to flee the area.
Odugbesan pointed out that the incident had no link with the operations of the oil firm, saying: “There is no such incident in our facility. However, SPDC will continue to undertake initiatives to prevent and minimise spills caused by oil theft and sabotage of its facilities in the Niger Delta.”
However, Jasmin Okar, a resident of Kolo, said that efforts by residents to put out the fire were frustrated by the swampy terrain, which made it difficult for them to intervene.
He noted that members of the community watched helplessly as the crude burnt out on the surface of the waters, adding: “It is the water channel that has been blocked by debris from the Orashi River; the crude oil comes from sites where they do illegal oil refining activities very far from Emeyal.