July 15, 2024

Crude loading mishap from Aiteo’s field pollutes Atlantic Ocean

Crude loading mishap from Aiteo’s field pollutes Atlantic Ocean

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

A loading mishap at the Nembe oilfields has discharged large volumes of Aiteo’s Nembe crude blend into the Atlantic Ocean, sources at the newly approved oil export terminal have said.

It was learnt that a violent tidal wave dislodged a vessel being loaded from the crude storage facility at the shallow offshore facility operated by Indigenous firm Aiteo, on Monday.

On Wednesday, the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) confirmed an oil leak incident from the Nembe Oilfields operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Limited at Nembe, in Bayelsa.

Mr Solomon Ukponevi, Head of NOSDRA’s field Office in Yenagoa, who confirmed the development to our correspondent, said the oil firm reported the incident on Tuesday.

He explained that the agency has deployed its officials to the spill site to ascertain the cause and volume of crude oil discharged into the environment.

On the extent of the resulting pollution, Ukpenevi said that the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) scheduled for today (Wednesday) will determine the 8mpwcter area amongst other details.

“I will not be able to provide details until staff deployed for the JIV return from the fields but I can tell you that Aiteo has reported the spill and investigation is underway”, he said.

It was learnt that the leak occurred on Monday during a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) loading operation.

The 97-kilometre Nembe Creek Trunkline NCTL) that hitherto fed the Bonny Oil Export Terminal in Rivers has since been discarded by the indigenous firm which acquired the Nembe God from Shell in 2015.

Following persistent vandalism on the oil export line with a capacity to evacuate 180,000 barrels of crude daily, Aiteo resorted to using barges to coney crude from the Nembe fields.

The barges, and smaller vessels are used to transport crude from onshore oil wells to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel frmm which Aiteo exports the Nembe Crude blend to crude tankers in the Atlantic Ocean.

Sources at the oilfield say the operational mishap discharged large volumes of the Nembe Crude blend into the Atlantic Ocean and subsequently adjourning creeks.

The Management of Aiteo has yet to respond to the incident.

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