Chevron: 60 days after, Ondo oil field inferno rages on, residents lament company’s silence
Two months after the Ojumole oil field fire explosion was reported, the fire is yet to be put out.
The oil field situated at Ojumole in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State has since the incident in April been blazing with raging inferno non-stop.
The facility which ownership has been claimed by Chevron has continued to ravage the affected communities with the residents stating that the unwholesome situation has brought untold hardship on them.
A visit by ND REPORTERS to the riverine community revealed that the owners of the facility, Chevron are yet to make true their promise of putting out the inferno.
Meanwhile, the residents have described as nonchalant, the attitude of the American oil giant that had at various fora initiated by the state government, the state’s legislature and other relevant stakeholders within the community, assured that measures will be deployed at
bringing the situation under control.
Protesting the harsh conditions they have been subjected to by Chevron, the residents of the affected communities lamented that fishing and farming which are their means of livelihood have been badly affected by the oil well fire.
Armed with placards, they also maintained that on daily basis, their healths were exposed to hazardous fumes and gaseous contents exudating from the burning oil well.
Some of the placards read, “We are dying gradually due to poison,” “Govt should come to our aide, Chevron doesn’t care about us,” among others.
At the only hospital in the community, some residents have been admitted due to various ailments as a result of exposure to the hazards caused by the fire.
Reacting to the protest and claims of the affected communities, the company’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron, Mr Esimaje Brikinn, stated that, “Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) is currently working with emergency response contractors to safely put out the fire as quickly as possible.
“Due to the peculiar terrain of the well location, we had to create an access path to the slot leading to the wellhead. Having created the required access, we have moved heavy equipment and the personnel required to work on safely putting out the fire.
“We continue to keep all stakeholders, including the government, regulatory agencies, media and community leaders engaged in our efforts at putting out the fire in a safe manner.”
Earlier, Chevron had alleged that affected oil well which has stopped production since 1998 was tampered with by third-party interference.