From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There was fear and anxiety among residents of Sangana community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State following massive gas leakage from an oil platform in the area, yesterday.
Daily Sun learnt that the leakage from the self-drilling Adraitic 1 Platform of Otuo South in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 59 started last Sunday without any effort by relevant authorities to extinguish it.
The platform it was learnt belongs to SHELF Oil and Gas Company Limited, a subsidiary of Conoil Producing Limited.
The oil facility, though mounted in the Atlantic ocean, is just about twenty metres away from the residential area. It was learnt that the fear of possible gas explosion or poisoning had forced most residents of the area to quickly relocate to neighbouring villages to stay safe.
It was also learnt that a security consultant with Conoil, Mr Bello Bina, had evacuated staff from the platform. Most residents who stayed behind were however sen wearing nose masks to mitigate the effect of direct inhalation of the leaking gas.
But the Bayelsa State government has raised the alarm of large scale destruction of marine ecosystem in the area due to the leakage.
Coordinator of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) in the state, Morris Alagoa, lamented that the gas leakage which was first noticed last Sunday (October 31) had not been extinguished. He warned that the coastline communities in Brass, Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor Local government Areas would be impacted if the leakage leads to a gas explosion at the Otuo oil field in Sangana community.