April 24, 2024

TotalEnergies: NOSDRA deploys aircraft, 5 vessels to contain spill

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TotalEnergies: NOSDRA deploys aircraft, 5 vessels to contain spill

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) says it deployed an aircraft, and five vessels to contain the oil leakage from the Egina facility operated by TotalEnergies.

According to the spill’s agency, the spill response aircraft and vessels were used to apply dispersants on the oil leak that occurred on Nov 15, a development that kept the spill from impacting the shoreline.

It was learnt that dispersants are chemicals used in mopping up crude oil spills and it acts by breaking down oil molecules.

Mr Idris Musa, Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of NOSDRA gave an update on the response to the incident in a statement on Saturday.

Musa explained that the agency promptly deployed its personnel to the spill site, a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel in the Atlantic Ocean located about 130 kilometres off the Rivers/Akwa coastline.

According to him, the spill was caused by an operational mishap due to an export hose failure.

He explained that the prompt response from the operator to the spill led to identification and the leak stopped as spilt crude was being contained to avoid further spread and damage to the environment.

“The Agency received the report of a crude oil spill incident from TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria PLC which occurred from the company’s Engine Floating. Production Storage. and Offload (FP$O) facility.

“The spill is a result of an export hose snap on Nov 15. at 06:27 hrs. The facility is located deep offshore at 130 km from the shoreline, and ultra deep-water depth of 1150m. The report of the incident complies with extant laws and regulations.

“The operator of the FPSO immediately triggered all the required resources and commenced response activities under the effective guidance and supervision of the Agency,” Musa said.

The DG noted that since the incident was reported, the response team comprising staff of the agency and others, carried out aerial surveillance twice daily to track the progress of response activities.

He said that to complement the response capabilities of the owner of the facility, other oil companies have been notified to provide response support, and technical support remotely in determining the extent of the spread.

Musa explained that additional resources including response equipment, personnel, and dispersants from Clean Nigeria Associates (CNA) were used.

“Following a request from TotalEnergies, we facilitated entry into Nigeria, a Borba dispersant application aircraft and six expatriates from Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) Southampton, UK to hasten response activities.

“The support results from the approval from relevant government agencies as contained in the Nation& Oil Spill Contingency Non (NOSCP) have been remarkable.

On the spill response operations, Musa said that TotalEnergies and the agency’s team departed to the site, on Nov. 18, with 15,000 litres of dispersant COREXIT 9500 for spraying.

“The aircraft did three runs, spraying 10,500 litres of the dispersant on the affected areas while five vessels continued with mechanical agitation to break down the slick and carry out in-vessel spraying of dispersant.

“Representatives from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPPC) joined the response team from Lagos on Nov 21.

“On Wednesday, November 22, 2023, the OSRL Aircraft and dispersants sprayer were demobilised having concluded on the window of opportunity for such exercise,” he said.

Musa noted that the company’s vessels are following up movement of the slick and booms which have been put in place to contain and recover oil where feasible.

According to the NOSDRA DG, shoreline surveillance and baseline mapping were carried out starting from Calabar River to Ikot Abasi in Akwa nom State.

“It showed that the entire shoreline surveyed was clean and free from oil impact.

“Tracking and mapping of the emulsified oil as well as shoreline surveillance continues today.

“NOSDRA is continuing with the response and monitoring activities of the event,” Musa said.

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