A crude oil pipeline leak last Friday in Niger Delta has raised concerns, prompting a swift investigation by the country's oil spill agency following renewed concerns about environmental damage in the oil-rich area.
As reported by Reuters on Friday, January 20, the Obolo-Ogale pipeline owned by Shell's Nigerian subsidiary, which feeds the crucial Trans Niger line, experienced a leak on Friday, according to the Nigerian Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and an environmental group.
According to the report, local communities first reported the spill, prompting NOSDRA to announce a joint investigation visit to the site scheduled for Sunday.
"We have received a report on the spill and will hold a joint investigation visit to the site on Sunday," Ime Ekanem, NOSDRA's head in Rivers State, told Reuters.
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd. (SPDC), the subsidiary responsible for the pipeline, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.
The leak comes just weeks after Shell announced it would sell SPDC to a consortium of local companies, marking the end of nearly a century of onshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria.
Shell has faced numerous legal battles in the Niger Delta over past oil spills, which have devastated ecosystems and livelihoods in the region. The area already grapples with pollution, conflict, and corruption linked to the oil and gas industry.
The extent of the latest spill and its potential environmental impact remains unclear, with the investigation by NOSDRA and the environmental group expected to shed light on the cause and consequences of the leak.