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Clean up of Nembe oil spill in full swing, says Aiteo

By Joseph Onyekwere 
27 November 2021   |   4:07 am
Efforts to cap the leaking wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field in Nembe have received a boost with the deployment of heavy equipment, including two 1000 metric tonnes (mt) ramps...

Efforts to cap the leaking wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field in Nembe have received a boost with the deployment of heavy equipment, including two 1000 metric tonnes (mt) ramps, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO) said yesterday.

The ramps, which sailed to the ground zero in Nembe local council of Bayelsa State last Wednesday, are expected to boost ongoing containment exercises, with booms and environmental barges already mopping up spilled crude.

The firm disclosed this in a statement by the Group Managing Director (GMD), Aiteo Eastern E & P Company Ltd, Mr. Victor Okoronkwo.

The statement emphasised that there was currently no fire at or within the vicinity of the well, adding that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the area was in planning phase with a DPR/NOSDRA accredited firm.

The statement followed the visit of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, and other dignitaries to take stock of the situation at ground zero on November 24.

The wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field, jointly owned by AEEPCO and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), blew up on November 5 spewing oil into the water bodies.

During the visit, Silva had detailed discussions with the Aiteo intervention team on ground, led by its Chief Operations Officer, Ewarezi Useh, who debriefed him on the pre-kill well assessment by Boots & Coots.

Useh had told the minister that the well would be secured within 48 hours of the visit. Afterwards, the minister had a town hall meeting with the Opu-Nembe Kingdom where he and other leaders of regulatory agencies interacted with the people.

They had given assurance to the community that their concerns and grievances would be addressed, while investigations would take off upon the killing of the well.

“Containment exercise continues, with booms and environmental barges mopping up spilled crude. All relevant personnel and experts, local and international are now on location. The marine spread carrying the pumps, chemicals, cranes and firefighting equipment are 100 per cent mobilised and have started sail to location,” Aiteo said.