Nigerian oil group Seplat Petroleum has commissioned an investigation in the southern state of Delta over reports of water being polluted by the company’s exploration activities. Residents and environmentalists had raised concerns over water being polluted in Okpe and Sapele after five households complained about polluted water.
Seplat Petroleum says that it has investigated reports of hydrocarbons in some Delta State water wells and is providing assistance to locals and government officials.
Seplat says that it is committed to supporting the investigation and providing support to the households and that it is “expediently investigating the root cause of the incident” and that its emergency team is working with representatives from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and Delta State Ministry of Environment to assess the situation.
The oil company said it had secured water wells, started drilling boreholes for residents and was providing drinkable water to residents of the affected areas.
Seplat said it has launched a broader investigation, checked other waterholes in the area and drilled more test holes but it did not discover any further signs of hydrocarbons leaking into the ecosystem. It said that no oil leaks or seepages were traced back to Seplat’s operated facilities.
Seplat has two producing blocks in Delta State, OML 38 and 41. The first has four producing fields, while the second has three producing fields, including Sapele. Several reports in the media had said residents of Maka street in the Sapele local government area had discovered oil in their wells three weeks ago. Some residents fled over fears that the oil could trigger explosions in the neighbourhoods.