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Nembe oil spill: Aiteo distributes relief material to affected communities

Nembe oil spill: Aiteo distributes relief material to affected communities
November 26
12:56 2021

Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO) says ongoing efforts are being intensified to cap its leaking wellhead and further control the consequences of the spillage at the Santa Barbara, Southwest field, Nembe LGA of Bayelsa.

The firm said this in a statement signed by Victor Okoronkwo, the group managing director (GMD), on Thursday. 

Yesterday, Sharon Ikeazor, minister of state for environment, disclosed that the government was considering tougher penalties for firms involved in spills.

Three weeks ago, a pipeline explosion in Nembe, Bayelsa state, led to oil spillage across 45 communities — spewing oil into the water bodies.

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Aiteo had, on Wednesday, assured Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, that the gushing wellhead would be secured within 48 hours in view of the progress its team of technical experts have made.

Giving updates about the site status, Okoronkwo said there is currently no fire at or within the vicinity of the well.

He said that environmental impact assessment in the vicinity of the area is in the planning phase with a Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) / National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) accredited firm.

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The GMD explained further that in preparation for “well kill”, a 1000 ramp barge containing all pimping and simulation equipment was approaching Santa Barbra “as per the latest report received at 21:00hrs” on Thursday.

He said the company has continued containment exercise, with booms and environmental barges mopping up the area. 

He noted that all relevant personnel and experts, local and international, are now on location, adding that marine spread carrying the pumps, chemicals, cranes and firefighting equipment are 100% mobilised and have started to sail to the location.

“The crew will night stop at KM 45 and take off again at first light tomorrow with ETA 12noon on site. 2 x 1000MT Ramp barge containing simulation equipment for the well kill also sailed today. Simultaneously, concurrent activities including spotting and hook up of hoses are ongoing on the barges to minimize clean up downtime,” the statement reads.

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“At SBAS-1, the well-control package was transferred onto the well platform and the crew carried out an inspection with the Xmas tree and identified the THS (Tubing Head Spool) to be 2-1/16.

“Further, RU(rig up) has been commenced but not completed due to bad weather. The Forward Plan is to complete RU and install well control package to arrest the flow.”

Okoronkwo said relief materials such as mosquito net, hygiene and sanitary kits, disinfectants, food materials, are being mobilised to the immediate communities impacted by the oil spill.

“Aiteo Officials are closely monitoring all activities related to the affected communities, viz. feeding, lighting, hygiene, drinking water and medical requirements with the help of local associations,” the statement adds.

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“Aiteo Safety and security and HSE teams are monitoring the quality of air every 6 hours to ascertain the livability of the areas adjoining ground zero.”

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