Adedokun Theophilus, Abuja
… contradicts TotalEnergies’ claim
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has revealed that approximately 3,000 barrels of crude oil were lost due to the November 15 oil spill from the offshore Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel of TotalEnergies, emphasising that the incident was not considered minor.
Idris Musa, Director-General of the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) told journalists on Sunday that the spill’s cleanup was still ongoing.
According to him, the spill was not a minor one; affirming that, as it has significant environmental impacts. He added that the response strategy put in place that resulted in limited impacts.
The NOSDRA boss stated that the strategy led to the ability of NOSDRA, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and other stakeholders to monitor, trace, and manage the oil slick in real-time, with TotalEnergies conducting aerial surveillance and applying dispersant to address the situation.
Mr. Musa said, “NOSDRA deployed personnel led by a director to the site, and we have remained on the spill site as well as granting the requisite approvals to hasten the response,” he said.
He explained that the agency deployed high-level personnel and activated the National Oil Spills Contingency Plan to contain the spill, adding that NOSDRA and TotalEnergies did not spare any effort in tackling the pollution to minimise its environmental impact, a development that kept the spilled crude from reaching the coastline.
“The spill has not hit the coastline because of the effectiveness of the spill’s contingency plan we deployed,” he said.
Mr. Musa explained that TotalEnergies took steps that made the response swift and effective, adding that other oil companies assisted in the response.
He, therefore, emphasised that the spill cleanup required a collaborative response from oil industry stakeholders led to the deployment of aircraft and at least five vessels in the application of 15,000 litres of liquids to clean the waters.
EnergyDay has learned that the Director-General of NOSDRA has contradicted TotalEnergies’ assertion that the oil spill was insignificant.
Dr Charles Ebereonwu, Country Communications Manager, TotalEnergies in a terse message received by EnergyDay said the incident did not impact production and that it had been contained with appropriate remedial measures.
He said, “This is not a massive leak, and the sheen has been treated with the appropriate response that resulted in a reduction of most of it. No shoreline or communities have been impacted.
Dr. Ebereonwu therefore stated in his response that the production has not been affected.