Heritage Pipe Ruptures, Two Months After Still Gushing Oil Into Building In Delta

An oil pipeline burst from Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL) facility is sending hundreds of gallons of crude oil onto a residential area and building in NigerCat area of Ekpan, Delta state.

BIGPEN Online understands that although no casualty or immediate danger has been reported of the incident which occurred barely two months ago, residents fear there may be possible fire outbreak if the crude continued to spread to adjoining residential and industrial area.

A resident of the area, Mr Benson Otomiewo, who confirmed the development, said that the crude oil flowed like water into various compounds in the neighborhood contaminating their land, water, destroying plants and aquatic life.

Mr. Otomiewo who expressed worried about the environmental damage from the oil discharge, said that Heritage is liable because the crude oil forced its way into the compound through the fence and took over the compound.

He said that the private property taken over by the oil which belongs to one Mr. Austin Wareyai is still under construction.

The building shares boundary with the an HEOSL facility but it was not clear how the pipeline burst or where the oil originated from before getting into the building, thus forcing construction work to stop.

A worried owner of the affected property, Mr Austin Wareyai, who spoke on the incident lamented that the presence of the crude oil had forced him to stop construction works on the building which is near completion.

Wareyai said his property which has gulped millions of naira is under threat of possible collapse or fire outbreak with the continued presence of the crude oil.

The duo of Wareyai and Otomiewo alleged that they have written series of letters to Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL) to clean up the affected areas, but the oil company is reportedly feigning ignorance of their letters.

They, however, appealed to the Federal and Delta State Governments, as well as authorities of the NNPC, NOSDRA, Ministry of Environment, human rights and environmental justice groups to prevail on the management of HEOSL to urgently carry out an elaborate clean up of the area.

NigerDelta Today which had the original story of the incident, reports that since the crude oil was discovered on Monday, 23rd of September 2019, no official of HEOSL including the General Manager, Community Relations, Mr. Sylvester Oko was willing to comment on the report.