Explosion hits Bayelsa fishing settlements
By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria
An explosion has been reported at an abandoned oil well around Bendik Kiri in Okpoama Kingdom in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Punch Metro announced on Wednesday that the leak occurred on October 20, 2023, and that a large amount of oil and gas material leaked from the well’s Christmas tree into the area around the fishing village along the creek.
Regional sources claimed that the well was located in OML 66, known in records as “Krogbaba 1” and belonged to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company. Despite reports of an oil leak in May this year, 4,444 fishermen have since been evacuated from the affected area.
A 14-second video of the spill shows the hissing sound caused by intense pressure forcing oil and gas out of the wellhead.
The incident, which lasted approximately six days, has the potential to spread oil and gas substances widely into the marine environment and could lead to a fire if the leak is not sealed.
On Monday, Bendik Kiri chief fisherman Mr Okon from Akwa Ibom State was quoted as saying that everyone was evacuated due to the smell of gas and oil and fear of fire.
“We’re so close to the oil wells that we’re worried that the place is on fire. We can’t catch fish and dry them. “I’m here because the community… “They asked me to stay close and let them know if anyone came,” he said.
Ocon claimed that this was the third time the explosion had occurred, although previous incidents were not as serious as this one.
Mr Tarinyo Akono, former president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, who visited the scene on Monday, said the minehead explosion was “serious and extremely dangerous” to people and the environment.
He said: People’s lives have been reduced. I have asked the NPDC to do something about these wells, and there are more than 50 of them. ”