Friday 12 July 2013

Gas and oil leak at Taylor Creek in Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

Members of the Ikarama community in the northeast of Bayelsa State, Nigeria, have reported that a mixture of natural gas and crude oil is leaking from an Agip-owned pipeline close to Taylor Creek. The leak apparently started on Monday 8 July 2013, and has reportedly not been addressed by the company at the time of writing. The Friends of the Earth affiliated group Environmental Rights Action have called upon Agip to lower pressure in the pipeline, as local people are extremely concerned about the dangers to health from the fumes, as well as the possibility of explosions; a similar leak led to an explosion in the Southern Ijaw area of the state only three weeks ago.

Gas and oil leaking from a pipeline in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Alagoa Morris/Friends of the Earth Nigeria/Environmental Rights Action.

Nigeria is the world's fifth largest oil producer, earning over 98% of its export earnings from the sale of hydrocarbons. However the presence of oil has widely been seen as a curse as much as a blessing, with the oil producing areas of the Niger Delta having suffered numerous pollution events in the industry's fifty-year history, and little of the wealth generated filtering down to ordinary Nigerians, 70% of whom still live on less than US$1 a day.

The approximate location of the Taylor Creek leak. Google Maps.

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