The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has denounced reports its facilities spewed crude oil into the Orashi River in Rivers State.
A statement on Thursday by the firm said its investigations showed no part of its facility was compromised, but the oil observed on the river seemed to have emanated from activities of illegal refiners.
It reads: “As soon as rumours of a spill emerged, a field inspection was performed on July 29, with representatives of Obrikom and Omoku communities, as well as officials from NOSDRA and Rivers State Ministry of Environment.
“No oil leakage point along the Orashi river channel from any NAOC facility was observed. The oil appeared to be weathered; it is not consistent with oil that has just been produced. For these reasons, the company excludes the possibility of the said oil originating from its facilities.
“During investigation, several illegal refineries, loading points and transport boats were observed along Orashi river shoreline, which will hopefully be removed and cleaned up soon with the support of stakeholders, since they are clearly the source of significant oil pollution in the river and likely the source of this specific spill.
“The company remains committed to the sustainability of its business and the well-being of the communities where it operates; it discourages the spread of unverified news that can wrongly affect its reputation.”