OML 29 oil spill: volume of spill yet to be ascertained, says Aiteo

…spill can be equated to 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon disaster, activist declares

Nembe—Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited has stated that the volume of leak in the spillage that occurred at Well 1 in OML 29, located along the Santa Barbara river in Nembe local government area of Bayelsa state is yet to be determined.

In a statement by its Spokesperson, Mr Mathew Ndianabasi, the company while confirming the leak revealed that it is from a non-producing wellhead.

According to him, remediation efforts are currently underway to mitigate the result of the spill.

He stated that investigation by the relevant regulatory agencies is currently on the way.

The statement reads in part:

“The magnitude of this incident is of an extremely high order. Neither the cause of the spill nor the quantity of leaked hydrocarbon could be determined at the time of the discovery, though containment booms were deployed.

“And, recovery commenced immediately around the wellhead.  As an incident of this nature imports, the necessary Oil Spill Notification Report has been promptly communicated.

“The notification was made to National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission(NUPRC) and National Petroleum Investment Services(NAPIMS) as is required by regulation.

“A Joint Investigative Visit, (JIV) to the spill site was held by all relevant stakeholders, community inclusive. The JIV at the time, was inconclusive, owing to difficulties with access due to the high pressure of hydrocarbons from the wellhead.

“Additionally, immediate efforts to control the leak were aborted due to the high pressure emanating from the wellhead.

“Consequently, Aiteo has mobilized a full intervention team with well control specialists and equipment both locally and internationally to arrest the leak.,” the statement read in part.

Meanwhile, a renowned environmental advocate, Iniruo Wills has condemned the recent oil spill at Well 1 in OML 29,

In a statement sent to, Wills expressed that anyone ascribing the spill at OML 29 to sabotage needs psychiatric examination.

According to him, “anybody or official ascribing this recklessly caused ecological disaster to sabotage needs a psychiatric examination.

“You cannot keep raping communities and at the same time tarring them with the brush of collective criminalization. There was a massive spill that went on for a week at that same Santa Barbara Well 1 in OML 29 operated by Aiteo over two years ago.

“Like roughly thirty or more other spills spanning across that same oil bloc in the few years since Aiteo started operating the bloc, that 2019 spill from the same well has neither been cleaned up, remediated, or compensated for.”

Wills, who is also a legal practitioner averred that “now this mega spill disaster is going on from that same well for about a week now in a country with virtually zero installed spill-response capacity.

“Several oil industry experts who viewed the video clip have likened it to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 2012 Chevron K S Endeavour catastrophe in Koluama, Nigeria, and they have pointed to the likelihood of it being a gas pressure release from pent-up gas over the years from a capped and abandoned non-producing well.”

“Beyond Aiteo whose operations have made its predecessor, Shell, look like saints, this incident once again challenges the Government of Nigeria and industry regulators to wake up to their statutory duties.”

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