Expert faults report on Bayelsa oil leak

Expert on good control, Victor Ekpenyong, working on the site of the Santa Barbara oil spill in Nembe, Bayelsa State, yesterday, disagreed with reports that two million barrels of crude oil had been discharged into the environment in the area.

The facility is currently under control due to what Aiteo described as “wellhead vandalism” by unknown persons was reported on November 5, 2021, and is currently being worked on by wild good control experts, to arrest the source of the leak and secure the well.

Ekpenyong stated that the well was the last known to be producing about 700bpd of hydrocarbon fluid and would, as of yesterday, have spilt an estimated volume of about 18,000bpd of hydrocarbon fluid into the environment as against the two million barrels of oil he said was wrongly reported.

According to the expert, the operator, Aiteo Eastern E&P Company deserves commendation for being very active in containing the spill since it started, by immediately informing all regulatory agencies and stakeholders, mobilising containment resources (spill booms) to limit the impact on the environment and carrying out a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to site with the appropriate authorities.

He also commended the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, for finding time to visit the spill site and assessing the current situation as well as the management of Aiteo which he said immediately went to work.

Ekpenyong added that well control equipment was deployed, and the well was brought under control without further damage, safety incident or fatality.

He said: “The good control situation is being worked on and the well will be brought under control soonest. The most important thing during well control is having the expertise, equipment, resources, and the exercise of patience.”


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