The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on Sunday, November 14, 2021 said that the Nov. 5 oil spill which occurred at an oil well within Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 has yet to abate, 10 days on.
NOSDRA officials, who were deployed to ascertain the cause and estimated volume of crude discharged into the environment, could not conduct the investigation whilst the leak was still on.
In an update, Mr Idris Musa, Director-General of NOSDRA, said that the leak has yet to be plugged as of Sunday, adding that the intensity of the leak was hampering investigations at the incident site.
On whether the leak has been capped, the NOSDRA boss said: “Not yet, the Clean Nigeria Associates (CNA), an alliance of all oil firms operating in the country, has been called to beef up oil recovery.
“That effort is to reduce the ultimate risk and lessen the impact on the environment,” Musa said.
He said that following the inability of the indigenous operator of OML 29, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Exploration Company, to stop the leak it was definite that international help would be sought to block the leakage.
On the category of the spill incident, which ranges from tier I, II and III, where I is leak within an operators control and II requiring intervention across the industry and III of international magnitude, Musa said the incident could not yet be classified as a tier II spill.
“It is not yet tier II, but we are already prepared in anticipation.
“CNA can start work today,” the NOSDRA Director-General said.
Aiteo had, in a statement on Wednesday, said it has yet to ascertain the volume of the crude that had been discharged into the environment.
The statement signed by the spokesman of the company, Mr Mathew Ndianabasi, also said the oil firm suspected sabotage as the cause of the spill.
He said the company was mobilising local and international know-how to contain the incident.
By Nathan Nwakamma