Odahiekwu Ogunde Yenagoa
Eni, the Italian parent company of Nigerian Agip Oil Company, has denied abandoning its duties in remediating the adverse impact of its oil export terminal located in the coastal community of Brass, Bayelsa State.
Eni’s denial came after its host community in the state wrote a letter to NAOC demanding quick action on remediation of 48-year-old impact on the environment and economic activities of the people of Brass.
Brass community in Bayelsa in a letter dated May 25, demanded remediation on the environmental and economic damage done to the Brass canal through the operations of the oil company.
The letter from the community to the Managing Director of NAOC was sent by a law firm, Ntephe, Smith & Wills, for the Brass people.
According to the letter, the remediation of the Brass canal is overdue and being delayed by the oil firm.
The community recalled that despite a subsisting regulatory directive to conduct a Comprehensive Impact Assessment to determine the effect of the facility and proffer remedy and compensation, the oil firm was foot-dragging.
According to the people, the oil firm has also delayed the implementation of a joint inter-agency site visit to resolve the issue and commence remediation of the impacted areas.
NAOC, an affiliate of the Italian Energy firm, Eni, operates the offshore oil terminal along with some onshore oil blocks in the swamps of Bayelsa, in addition to Joint Venture stakes in other fields operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company in the state.
In a response from an Eni spokesperson, the oil firm denied allegations of abandoning the remediation, saying it was working with regulators on the remediation.
Eni said, “NAOC denies the allegations brought forward in the mentioned petition.
“As in all the communities where it operates across the Niger Delta, the company is in constructive contact with community leadership, and is working with the community, its legitimate legal representatives and regulators to address issues of mutual concern to the parties, including environmental issues.”