Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), operator of the NNPC /Aiteo Joint Venture on OML 29 has reported an oil spill from a non-producing well head in its Santa Barbara South field, in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The incident occurred last week Friday.
Aiteo in a statement noted that the magnitude of the spill is of an extremely high order, emphasizing that, 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.
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“As an incident of this nature imports, the necessary Oil Spill Notification Report have been promptly communicated 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. Ultimately, 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 to high pressure of hydrocarbons from the well head”
The company explained that 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”.