Oil thieves responsible for Bayelsa spill – Aiteo

AEEPC further mentioned that the well had yet to be shut in as preliminary indications suggested that crude oil theft and sabotage activities were suspected of having caused the spill.

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Oil spillage

Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), the operator of Oil Mining Lease (OML 29), said Wednesday the volume of oil leak from its operations in Bayelsa on Friday had yet to be determined and likely caused by oil thieves.

The spokesman for AEEPCO, Mathew Ndianabasi, confirmed in a statement that the oil spill occurred on November 5.

Mr Ndianabasi stated that the leak was reported from a non-producing wellhead in its Santa Barbara South field, Nembe local government area of Bayelsa.

According to the company, remediation efforts to mitigate the impact of pollution on the environment are underway as regulatory agencies’ investigation is 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,” said the

statement. “Recovery commenced immediately around the wellhead. As an incident of this nature imports, the necessary Oil Spill Notification Report have been promptly communicated.”

It added that 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.

According to Aiteo, a joint investigative visit (JIV) to the spill site was held by relevant stakeholders, community inclusive. The JIV at the time was inconclusive, owing to difficulties with access due to the high pressure of hydrocarbons from the wellhead.

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“Additionally, immediate efforts to control the leak were aborted due to the high pressure emanating from the wellhead,” added the statement. “Consequently, Aiteo has mobilised a full intervention team with well control specialists and equipment both locally and internationally to arrest the leak.”

AEEPC further mentioned that the well had yet to be shut in as preliminary indications suggested that crude oil theft and sabotage activities were suspected of having caused the spill.

In 2015, Shell Petroleum Development Company 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.

(NAN)

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