The Ministry of Petroleum is it will soon set up a team to inspect the extent to which oil pollution has destroyed lives and the environment in the oil fields.

Daniel Awow said that pollution as a result of oil spillage is of great concern to the inhabitant of around oil wells.

Both local and international campaign groups have reported widespread environmental pollution in oil-producing areas, with animals and people affected.

They say women are giving birth to deformed babies and stillbirths, claims the local people have confirmed.

Just last week, an MP representing Ruweng state at the Council of States has said the rate of newborns with defects is on the rise in her area.

This is mostly caused by dangerous heavy metals used in oil production which leaks into drinking water sources used by people with life-threatening health risks.

Speaking to the press on Friday, the Petroleum Minister Mr. Awow said the team will study the consequences of the pollution to help authorities identify the interventions required.

“This exercise will be carried out by an international company to give us leeway to correct some of the damage that has occurred,” he said.

The oil minister said the environmental audit will start within the next two weeks.

“This environmental audit will tell us exactly the extent of the damage on several oil fields so that we can recommend remediation and probably correction if there is any damage that will have to be controlled and also the practice of oil operation will have to be guided,” he added.