Aiteo ends Santa Barbara wellhead leak

Solomon Ezeme

 

Oil company, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited, in conjunction with its Joint Venture (JV) Partner, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has finally succeeded in putting a stop to the oil spillage at the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 in Nembe, Bayelsa State.

In a statement on Wednesday, signed by the company’s Group Managing Director, Victor Okoronkwo, Aiteo stated that the malfunctioned facility that led to the oil spill on its Santa Barbara wellhead, had been brought under control.

He disclosed that the the clean-up efforts to prevent the further spread of hydrocarbon into surrounding communities, were concurrently executed through cooperation from the President, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Clean Nigeria Initiative.

Okoronkwo noted that the partnership will also help to further remediation measures to ensure that affected areas are properly cleaned up.

He stated that remediation activities would align with Aiteo E&P’s strategic priorities, to ensure uninterrupted continuation of the living conditions of the Nembe people as, according to him, it is the company’s paramount consideration.

“This successful milestone is a remarkable testament to the capabilities that exist within indigenous players when faced with incidents of such magnitude, even when unanticipated.

“Although indigenous participation in the upstream space is nascent, the efforts evident in the management of this incident, especially the remarkable Aiteo E&P Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) policy, foretells the progress that has been made in building, growing, and elevating both expertise and technical capabilities by indigenous oil companies such as ours.

“The professionalism with which the technical and support personnel executed this significant operation cannot be overemphasised, especially, considering the challenging operating terrain,” he said.

Okonronkwo appreciated the efforts of the Federal Government and others who supported the company during the clean-up process, including the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Services (NAPIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti, and the Director General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Mr. Idris Musa.

He stated that they all spurred the company into achieving the milestone.

“We thank the Almighty God without whom none of this would have been possible. Aiteo E&P expresses profound appreciation to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who demonstrated immeasurable and sterling leadership in this matter.

“We thank the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for his resolute support; the Honourable Minister for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, for her unique open-mindedness and the Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Petroleum Commission (NUPRC) Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, for his deft management of this situation.

“We express our immense appreciation and gratitude to our senior Joint Venture (JV) Partner, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), for standing shoulder to shoulder with us during this period.

“We also specially thank the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari for his exceptional leadership,” Okoronkwo said.

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