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Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), operator of Oil Mining Lease (OML 29), on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, said the volume of oil leakage in Friday, November 5 from its operations in Bayelsa State was yet to be determined.

Ineffective clean up
Oil spill

The management of AEEPCO in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Mathew Ndianabasi, confirmed that the incident occurred on Nov. 5.

Ndianabasi stated that the leak was reported from a non-producing well head in its Santa Barbara South field, in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

According to the company, remediation efforts to mitigate the impact of the resulting pollution on the environment was already underway as investigation by regulatory agencies was also going on.

“The magnitude of this incident is of an extremely high order. Neither the cause of the spill, nor the quantity of leaked hydrocarbon could be determined at the time of the discovery, though containment booms were deployed.

“And, recovery commenced immediately around the well head.  As an incident of this nature imports, the necessary Oil Spill Notification Report have been promptly communicated.

“The notification was made to National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and National Petroleum Investment Services (NAPIMS) as is required by regulation.

“A Joint Investigative Visit, (JIV) to the spill site was held by all relevant stakeholders, community inclusive. The JIV at the time, was inconclusive, owing to difficulties with access due high pressure of hydrocarbons from the well head.

“Additionally, immediate efforts to control the leak were aborted due to the high pressure emanating from the well head.

“Consequently, Aiteo has mobilised a full intervention team with well control specialists and equipment both locally and internationally to arrest the leak.,” the statement reads in part.

AEEPC said that the well wasyet to be shut in as preliminary indications suggest that crude oil theft  and sabotage activities are suspected to be behind the mishap.

Shell Petroleum Development Company in 2015 divested its equity in OML 29 and transferred its interest in the oil block, including the 97 km Nembe Creek Trunk Line for $2.4 billion to Aiteo.

By Nathan Nwakamma

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