Panic in Bayelsa community as deadly NNPC gas leakage threatens lives

There is rising panic in the Okpoama kingdom of Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa state following a deadly gas leakage from the oil well belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company – NPDC a subsidiary of NNPC.

The gas leakage, which occurred along the Bendick+Kiri axis of the Kingdom has been spewing oil and gas into the environment from a well’s Christmas tree.

The oil well located in OML 66 and known in the records as “Kurogbagba 1” , was said to have been leaking for the past five days spreading oil into the creeks.

A threatening hissing sound from the intense pressure forcing the oil and gas out of the wellhead could be heard from over a kilometre and has forced fishermen out of their settlement for fear of fire out break.

The head of the fishermen in Bendick Kiri, Mr Monday Okon, who hails from Akwa Ibom State, confirmed that everybody has left because of the smell of the gas and oil and also for fear of fire outbreak.

“We are afraid the place will be in flame because we are very close the oil well. If we catch fish we can’t dry them. I am here because the community asked me to stay nearby and inform them when people come,” he said.

Okon said this was the third time it has happened but it has not been this serious.

In May, 2023 this year, the 53 years old abandoned oil well, had leakage and was contained before it blew out again on the 20th of October, 2023.

Also speaking, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Tarinyo Akono, who visited the site on Monday 23rd October, 2023, described the well blow out as intense and extremely dangerous for the people and the environment.

“I was there in May this year when there was a blow out I was there and now this sad occurrence. The livelihood of the people has been truncated. I have called on the NPDC to do something about these wells and they are over fifty of them,” he said.