The management of Nigeria’s indigenous oil firm, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), operator of the NNPC /Aiteo Joint Venture, on Tuesday confirm crude oil spill on it’s OML 29 oil field.
In a statement, the company spokesperson, Ndiana Matthew, said the spillage was noticed on Friday, November 5, 2021. He said the spill came from a non-producing well head in its Santa Barbara South field, in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
He described the magnitude of incident as of an extremely high order. He added that efforts to control the leak were aborted due to the high pressure emanating from the well head.
On what was responsible for the spill, he said, “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.
The statement added that the incident was reported to all industry regulators incharge such as National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission(NUPRC) and National Petroleum Investment Services (NAPIMS) as is required by regulation.
He stated that a Joint Investigative Visit, JIV to the spill site was held by all relevant stakeholders, community inclusive. However, the JIV at the time of the time of issuing the statement, was inconclusive, owing to difficulties with access due high pressure of hydrocarbons from the well head.
“Immediate efforts to control the leak were aborted due to the high pressure emanating from the well head.
“Consequently, Aiteo has mobilized a full intervention team with well control specialists and equipment both locally and internationally to arrest the leak.
“The JIV team commended Aiteo for its prompt emergency response and handling of the incident. Further investigations on the cause of the mishap are being undertaken and will be progressed after the well has been shut in.
“Preliminary indications suggest that crude oil theft leaks and sabotage cannot be ruled out,” he stated.