The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), on Friday allayed the fears expressed by Joinkrama 4 (JK 4) community in Rivers State on safety of pipelines being laid at Adibawa oil fields in the area.
The residents had expressed fears that the laying of a new gas pipeline through the community by SPDC close to their residential areas would compromise their safety.
Excavation works and fitting of pipes are ongoing at Adibawa fields operated by SPDC.
Ambrose Osuolo, a community leader in the area, said there was anxiety among the people of the community over proximity to residential areas.
“We are disturbed because there are lots of buildings on this line right side as you approach the community, they have diverted the pipeline, crossing the road to the other side but they should pass the pipes through the bush.
“Even the side they have diverted to, there are lots of buildings.
“The distance between the pipeline and buildings is not up to five meters, so owners of the buildings are all scared.
“Shell had surveyed the bush where to route this pipeline in the past; a virgin bush.
“But we do not see why they are now passing the gas pipeline through the community.”
JK 4, also referred to as Edagberi, located in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers shares boundaries with some communities in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
However, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Media Relations at SPDC in a reaction to the development, explained that the fears were unfounded as the oil firm has no new ongoing gas project in the area.
According to him, ongoing work at SPDC’s field at Adibawa was limited to replacement of existing crude pipelines within its right of way.
“SPDC is not laying any gas pipelines in the area in question. However, there’s sectional replacement of existing old flowlines in Adibawa within SPDC’s right of way,” Odugbesan.