Oil Spill in Nigeria Forces Evacuation

A Shell-operated high-pressure pipeline ruptured over the weekend causing an oil spill of approximately 250 barrels. This has forced the evacuation of thousands of illegal residents squatting around the pipeline, located in Maroko on the outskirts of Warri.

Shell warned residents around the pipeline to evacuate since there was the potential for an explosion. Although the cause of the spill has not been determined, there were indications that the rupture could have been caused by corrosion.

Shell's External Relations Manager, Western Division, Mr. Frank Efeduma, who was at the spill site for an on-the-spot assessment said the actual cause cannot be ascertained until the Joint Investigation Visit has been concluded.

Efeduma who described the spill as minor disclosed that contrary to speculations, the incident would neither impact the company's production schedule nor on its supply of crude to the Warri Refinery and Petrochemicals Company (WRPC). He said the primary concern of SPDC at this time was to contain the spill and take appropriate measures to prevent any fire outbreak in the vicinity.

"I am alerting the nation to appeal to the occupants of Maroko to evacuate the place for their own safety, the safety of Delta State and that of the nation, because it will be a big disaster if any fumes of gas from here gets in contact with fire from where people are cooking close-by here," he said.