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Nembe oil spill: We’ve finally put out the wellhead leak, says Aiteo

Nembe oil spill: We’ve finally put out the wellhead leak, says Aiteo
December 08
14:05 2021

Aiteo, operator of oil mining lease (OML) 29, says it has finally put out the leak on its Santa Barbara wellhead in Nembe, Bayelsa state.

The wellhead is a joint venture between Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

A wellhead is a component at the surface of an oil or gas well that provides the structural and pressure-containing interface for the drilling and production equipment.

It had blown on November 5, spewing oil and gas into the water bodies and causing environmental disaster — for many weeks after the initial leak.

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Last week, Andrew Onu, Aiteo’s global group director/coordinator, said the company had pumped chemicals into the wellhead to contain further leakage. 

He had said that the spill had already been contained substantially.

In a statement on Wednesday, Victor Okoronkwo, group managing director, Aiteo E&P, said the company has finally put out the leak and successfully installed control packages.

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“To the glory of God, we have put out the leak at SBAS-1. We are grateful for all the support. We have successfully installed control packages on both arms,” Okoronkwo said.

“There’s a rig up pump on the long string, and pump opens the ball valve. Also, we have closed both control packages and shut-in well flow. The team is currently preparing to pump ‘kill fluid’ into the long string. Note that the short string is already killed and dead with zero pressure.

“Complete pumping of kill fluid into the long string (LS). Achieve zero psi on surface and rig down pump as well as rig up wireline.

The GMD said the clean-up efforts that they have started to limit the spread of hydrocarbon will now be comprehensively escalated.

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“To this end, concerted efforts will further be channeled immediately into increasing remediation measures,” he added.

“In prosecuting these remediation activities and in aligning with Aiteo E&P’s strategic priorities to ensure uninterrupted continuation of the living conditions and wellbeing of the communities remains the paramount consideration.”

On Tuesday, the senate described the oil spill as unacceptable and urged relevant stakeholders to penalise the company.

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