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Community laments impact of ‘strange’ gas flare from Shell facilities

The people staying near Shell’s new gas field in Opollo Epie, have bemoaned the negative effects of ground-level gas flares to the atmosphere.

Ms Sabina Yibowei, who resides along the Tombia-Amasoma road in Yenagoa, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the flares had affected the weather and raised the temperature in the area.

According to her, buildings surrounding the gas facility usually witness vibrations and high noise levels during the flaring exercise.

“Shell has been putting us in a tight corner because the vibrations and noise caused by the flares will not allow us to sleep at night and the people are leaving in fear.

“They have never thought it wise to explain what is going on in the place to the people leaving in the area.

“Take a look at the vegetation near the place and you will see that the toxic fumes have consumed the vegetation and that is the air we breathe in daily,” Yibowei said.

Mrs Joyce Onyeukwu, another resident of  Tombia-Amassoma Road, said: “Since Shell commenced these gas flare exercises, life has become unbearable.

“I am considering relocating from this area, but I still have some rent arrears. My children cannot sleep well and their performance at school has dropped due to this development.”

Meanwhile, a source close to the gas field said that Shell was drilling a new gas well and was conducting the flare to burn off impurities before feeding the gas into its gas gathering facilities.

Reacting, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said the ongoing ground-level gas flares at its gas field in Bayelsa were within tolerable limits.

A press statement by the SPDC’s spokesman, Mr Precious Okolobo, said the company was testing the potential of five gas wells for implementation of the Gbaran-Ubie project in Bayelsa. (NAN)


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