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Eroton confirms fire incident at OML 18 asset, blames vandals

Eroton confirms fire incident at OML 18 asset, blames vandals
January 24
13:41 2023

Eroton Exploration and Production Limited has reported a wellhead fire incident in Degema local government area of Rivers state.

The company said the incident occurred at the Akaso field, Cawthrone channel, oil mining lease (OML) 18, on January 20, 2023.

Mercy Max-Ebibai, head, external affairs and corporate communications, Eroton, confirmed the incident in a statement released on Monday.

She said the well was reported to be releasing hydrocarbons to the environment in wildfires due to alleged vandalisation and bunkering activity on the wellhead’s “XMAS Tree containment valves”.

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“An oil-laden wooden boat was initially observed in the vicinity and a loud bang was also reported,” the statement reads.

“This resulted in the fires drifting to two wellheads, only one of which is still aflame at the point of reporting. Akaso6LS fire has died out while Akaso15L is still on fire.”

Max-Ebibai said an emergency response team (ERT) has been convened and the company’s skilled well control engineers are working with an experienced wild-well control vendor “who has been contracted to carry out an assessment of the current wild well fire situation, design a technical solution and firefighting strategy”.

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The spokesperson also confirmed that the relevant authorities were formally notified within the permissible timeframe and that all regulatory obligations were met.

She added that the organisation is working closely with the relevant authorities to investigate the cause of the incident and determine the extent of the damage.

Max-Ebibai noted that the safety and well-being of Eroton’s employees and host communities are top priority.

“We continue to appreciate the effort of the authorities, and the entire oil and gas industry to stem these incessant, unfortunate, and expensive incidents,” she said.

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“Eroton is the operator of OML 18 on behalf of the NNPC/Eroton JV. OML 18 oil field is situated in the Eastern Niger Delta, and covers a total area of 1,035 sq km in an onshore swamp terrain. Eroton has a clear vision for the future, which is evident from the six-fold increase in production since the asset was acquired in 2015. Eroton is based in Lagos and Rivers states in Nigeria.”

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