Saturday, 25 May 2013
ExxonMobil Inflicts Two Fresh Oil Spills in One Week on Overwhelmed Akwa Ibom Coastline
Ibeno community, hosts to Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), the Nigerian unit of ExxonMobil on Friday reported two oil spills at the Qua Iboe oil fields on December 16 and 19.
Members of the community who spoke to SaharaReporters said that the new spills have badly contaminated the coastline.
SaharaReporters recalls that spills this year have been recorded on August 13, and 24, as well as November 9 and December 16 and 19.
Environmental monitors from a local non-governmental organisation, Peace Point Action, said on Friday that the community noticed fresh oil deposits on the coastline at New Barrel and Itak Abasi areas on the Atlantic coastline.
Said members of the community: “Frequent spills have been the only reward we have for being an oil bearing community, from August till date we have lost count, this is one spill too many.
“How can this be? We had two in August, one in November and two in December; the spill of November is still pending and the clean-up had not been completed before this one occurred again.
They further complained that for a predominantly fishing community, the frequent spills have become a nightmare especially with the state government taking sides with Mobil against the victims.
“Soon after the last spill we learnt that Mark Ward, the MD of Mobil was in the state and never cared to visit the community but he held meetings with Governor Akpabio and left, only for them to force the food items they sent on us,” Eseyen Okon, a community leader in the community said.
ExxonMobil officials had reported to the regulators that the November 9 oil spill discharged a mere 200 barrels of crude into the Atlantic but the oil firm deployed over 600 men to work for over one month to clean up the oil deposits.