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NOSDRA confirms crude oil spill at Eroto’s OML 18 in Bayelsa

By Julius Osahon, Yenagoa
26 June 2022   |   2:36 am
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), yesterday, confirmed an oil wellhead leak at Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18, operated by an indigenous operator, Eroton Exploration

The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), yesterday, confirmed an oil wellhead leak at Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18, operated by an indigenous operator, Eroton Exploration and Production Limited, along the 97-km Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) located near the corridors of the export line, in Rivers State.

   
Residents said that the oil facility has been discharging oil and gas into the coastal environment for the past one week.
   
The Director-General of NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, who confirmed the leakage, said that efforts were on to contain the menace, adding that “the company reported that an oil recovery was underway. Efforts are on to stop the source which is a wellhead.”
  
Also, a notification report by Mr. Odianosen Masade, Corporate Communications Lead at Eroton, indicated that the incident occurred on June 15, while a site assessment visit was carried out on June 23.
 
The oil firm said that preliminary findings indicate that the incident was due to vandalism.
  
“This is to bring to your attention the loss of control of Cawthorne Channel Well 15 resulting in an oil spill. CAWC015L/S is a dual string well, which started production in May 1977. The short string was shut-in in 1988 due to the high gas-oil ratio (HGOR), while the long string watered out and well quit in 1991.
  
“The spill started on June 15, 2022, and immediately an emergency response procedure was activated. 

“Our team of good engineers is working with contractors and evaluating the safest procedure that will be required to bring the well under control.

A similar incident reported on Nov 5, 2021, at nearby OML 29 operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, discharged more than 8, 000 barrels of crude oil for some 32 days before the leak was plugged.
  
Eroton and Aiteo acquired their respective assets following the 2015 divestment by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) from some of its onshore assets.
  
The two Nigerian companies assumed operator status in the joint venture arrangement with the Nigerian Petroleum Company.

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