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Aiteo shuts down OML 29 field in Bayelsa over oil leak

Aiteo worker Aiteo worker

Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited/Aiteo joint venture (JV) on oil mining lease (OML) 29, has shut down production in Nembe, Bayelsa state.

The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had, on June 19, said a fresh spill was recorded in the Nembe creeks.

AEEPCO confirmed the incident on Wednesday in a statement signed by Ndiana-Abasi Matthew, its media spokesperson. 

The company said the oil leak, which occurred at its loading facility in Nembe, was reported during routine operations.

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The firm said its oil spill and emergency response team was immediately activated and all production from OML 29 was shut down as a precautionary measure to mitigate the impact of the incident.

“This is a precautionary measure while mobilising additional resources to contain the spill,” the statement reads.

‘The cause of the spill is currently undetermined. However, we are proactively engaging with stakeholders to mitigate the immediate effects.”

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Commenting on the incident, Victor Okoronkwo, Aiteo’s group managing director, said a joint investigative visit (JIV) with stakeholders has been initiated to determine the cause of the incident.

“While we regret the production losses to the Joint Venture and the nation and the potential environmental impact, our current priority is to expedite an efficient spill management process in line with regulatory standards and collaborate with all stakeholders to restore production and mitigate associated risks,” he said.

According to the Aiteo boss, the company’s joint venture partners and the relevant regulators – the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the NOSDRA have been informed of the incident.

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