The federal government has directed Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, to visit Bayelsa community and investigate the level of damage caused by the recent oil spillage.
Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, said this on Wednesday while speaking to the state house correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
A wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field had blown on November 5 and since then, it had been spewing oil into the water bodies.
It is jointly owned by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Aiteo, which acquired the oil mining lease, OML 29 in 2015, had said that it was working with oil spill regulators to contain the leak.
Responding to queries about the federal government’s efforts in ensuring proper curtailment of the oil spillage, he said that President Buhari had given a directive to the ministry to ascertain the level of damage done at the site.
“And the question which is on the spillage in OML 29, we are quite aware of it,” Sylva said.
“Unfortunately, it has happened. It is also one of the issues I discussed with the president as a minister and he has asked us to go and visit the site to assess the situation and report back.”
“Definitely, we are quite concerned with what is happening in Nembe and will be going there very soon, tomorrow in fact, to go and look at what is happening and report back.”
He said the President was concerned about the flowing oil, saying that the adverse environmental impact of the spill will not be tolerated by the government.
“Mr. President is personally very interested and we have discussed it and he said we should go there and come back and report to him because environmental degradation issues are things that we are not going to condone but of course we’ll work with the operators of OML 29 to ensure that this spillage is brought under control as quickly as possible,” he added.