Fishermen in Akwa Ibom, who operate near Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) oil fields are now counting losses they incurred because of the May 1 oil spill from the companyâ€s facilities.
A statement signed by MPNâ€S Executive Director, Mrs Gloria Essien-Danner, had confirmed that a pipeline leak from one of its offshore platforms discharged an undisclosed volume of crude into the Atlantic ocean.
It said that Mobil Producing Nigeria, an affiliate of U.S. oil giant, ExxonMobil, had identified the source of the crude leakage, adding that the MPN and the community had started a joint investigation into the incident. Mr Samuel Ayadi, Akwa Chapter Chairman, Artisanal Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket in Akwa Ibom on Friday that more than 6,000 of its members were affected by the oil spill.
â€œWe are still computing our claims and it will take some time because more than 6,000 of our members spread across fishing settlements in Akwa Ibom were affected. We traced the oil spillage up to Cross Rivers estuary. Reports from our members in various settlements show that the impact of the spill was very much.
That is why we doubt the volume of 150 barrels declared by the oil company because if the volume is not massive it cannot be so visible at the shoreline and the creeks like we saw,â€ Ayadi said. He said that the association was working with a firm of valuers to determine the cost of the losses incurred by its members before they could make claims for compensation.