Contractor recovers 10m litres of crude from ongoing Bodo clean-up

Mkpoikana Udoma

Port Harcourt — Not less than 10 million litres of crude oil have been recovered from the ongoing clean-up of oil polluted site in Bodo community, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, which is being carried out by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited.

The oil spill in Bodo community occurred in 2008 due to corrosion from a pipeline operated by SPDC, spilling over 500,000 barrels of crude into the mangroves, land and waterways thereby ruining the people’s source of livelihoods.

In 2015, Shell accepted liability for the spills, agreeing to pay £55 million to Bodo community and to clean up their lands and creeks.

After years of delays, the clean-up is currently ongoing, under the auspices of the internationally recognized Bodo Mediation Initiative, BMI and it is being handled by four different contractors.

Speaking to newsmen during the inspection of the site by members of Oilwatch International, one of the contractors handling the clean-up project, said between 2019 and present, over 2million litres of crude has been recovered in the clean-up phase.

The Project Manager of Giolee Global Services, Evidence Enoch, said when there is a spill incident, the first stage is usually containment and recovery, before clean up.

“We have recovered over 2 million liters of crude between 2019 and now. Some days we recover up to 25,000 litres. During the first phase, which is the recovery stage, over 10million litres was recovered. While this phase is the clean-up phase, we have recovered about 2million litres.

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“I may not know about others (other contractors), but that figure is what we have recovered here on our part.

“This recovered crude is made up of water, debris, mud and crude. So we usually send it for recycling.

“By recycling, the debris, water, mud and crude oil are separated, while the crude is reinjected into the system and sold as export.”

The contractor disclosed that the Bodo clean up was very different from HYPREP activity, explaining that while HYPREP was carrying out remediation, the Bodo project was a clean up, adding that both concepts were different.

“The chain is first line response, containment, recovery, clean up, remediation and environmental restoration.

“Remediation is very expensive. In developed climes, they don’t do remediation. If there is a spill, they will immediately do a recovery and then clean up before the oil seep into the soil.”

He stated that over 1000 youths of Bodo community have been engaged in the clean up phase, adding that there will be continuous engagement of the youths even after the clean-up phase.

“The clean up phase will finished by next year, there is sustainability, restoration and monitoring of the environment in the next five years. So there will be continuous engagement.

“The Patrick waterside would be a tourist attraction when the mangroves are restored and being that Bodo is a significant place as it links Bonny island.”

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