Posted: 02 Nov 2016

An oil spill in the Niger Delta hub has caused communities affected by the spill to threaten action to block pipeline access until the state oil producer, NNPC, clean up the spill and compensate those affected within one week.

A pipeline that runs from Escravos to the Warri refinery, owned by NNPC, has been leaking crude since 17 August 2016 in the Niger Delta state, according to a statement issued by a group of local communities. The traditional rulers of the Gbaramatu Kingdom said they would give the NNPC seven days to “clean up the impacted communities, provide relief materials and pay adequate and fair compensation to the communities and people”.

The statement then goes on to say that if the demands are not met in seven days then “we would have no other option than to shut down the Escavos to Warri trunk line”. The communities also accused the NNPC of failing to repair the pipeline, despite repeated warnings of a massive spill.

Oil spills from faulty pipelines, or those explosively tapped with dynamite by criminals, have triggered an insurgency in the Niger Delta, where militants fight for a greater share of oil revenues and a cleaner environment. Nigeria’s oil production has fallen from by 1.8 million bpd from 2.2 million bpd at the start of 2016 due to attacks by militants the Nigerian oil minister said last week.

President Muhammadu Buhari is due to meet with the Niger Delta leaders and representatives of militant groups in Abuja this week.