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Agip shuts oil well in Bayelsa community after spill

Agip shuts oil well in Bayelsa community after spill
May 12
13:29 2021

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has shut its Idu oil well 11 at Egbebiri community in Biseni, Yenagoa LGA of Bayelsa state, after a spill occured.

The cause of the leakage is traced to equipment failure due to a rupture at the wellhead, according to the joint investigative visit (JIV) report on the incident.

In a statement made available to NAN on Wednesday, Eni, parent company of NAOC, said the facility was shut down to prevent further damage to the environment.

“As soon as the incident was reported, we activated our oil spill response, shut in the well and notified government regulatory agencies,” the statement read.

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“The joint investigation visit (JIV) was carried out on 09/05/2021, with participation of community representatives and the government regulatory agencies.

“The event occurred within the company’s well head location which is paved and walled round. There is no significant third party impact.”

However, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), an environmental rights group, said the incident which discharged crude and associated gas had severely polluted the environment.

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It said that a visit to the spill site showed pictorial evidence of the crude spreading beyond NAOC’s right of way as nearby vegetation were withered as a result of the crude impact.

A field report signed by Alagoa Morris, head of field operations at ERA/FoEN, said the Idu oil fields were notorious for frequent spills caused by equipment failure.

“ERA/FoEN has had cause to visit the environment of Idu Well 5 and 11 located within the same place in the past and it has always been Idu Well 11 spewing crude oil into the environment,” the report read.

“Available records from ERA/FoEN indicate that there have been previous oil spills from this particular Idu Well 11 operated by Agip.

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“Before concluding this field report, ERA/FoEN confirmed that Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on Sunday, 9th May, 2021.

“This is why the official Spill Reference No 2021/LAR/028/058 is indicated in this report; sourced from the JIV report. Cause of spill was attributed to equipment failure.”

The report further quoted Georgie, a resident of the community, as saying that the spill incident of May 7 spilled oil from around 10 p.m till about 8 a.m the next day before the leak was stopped.

Lamenting the “enormous” damage, residents also appealed to relevant agencies to ensure that prompt action is taken so as to prevent the spill spreading to water bodies in the environment.

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