NOSDRA Moves To Check Menace Of Oil Spills In Niger Delta

NOSDRA Moves To Check Menace Of Oil Spills In Niger Delta
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BY CYRIL OGAR, ABUJA & JOE EZUMA, PORT HARCOURT

National Oil Spill Detection And Response Agency ,NOSDRA, says it is committed to finding a lasting solution to the occurrence  of  oil spills  in the Niger Delta sub-region.

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The agency vowed to fight oil spills, its causes and effects. This is as the Federal Government has shut some oil wells in Bayelsa following perennial spills

NOSDRA Director-General, Idris Musa, disclosed this yesterday in Port Harcourt, while speaking at a one-day Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction , CDRR, plan on the dangers of oil pipeline vandalism and the resultant environmental pollution.

Musa stated that the DRR plan was developed by the agency to create and sustain an interface with stakeholders that hitherto had not been effectively engaged in the effort to curb pipeline vandalism.

The director-general, who was represented by the director, Asset Safety and Mitigation, Oladipo Obanewa, said the DRR plan, which was first carried out in Bayelsa State in 2014, was expected to be replicated in other oil producing states and transit states.

He said: “The DRR plan was developed by the agency to create and sustain an interface with stakeholders that hitherto have not been effectively engaged in the effort to curb pipeline vandalism.

While it is true that crude oil is spilled into the environment due to equipment failure, pipeline vandalism by unscrupulous elements also contributes largely to the menace resulting in adverse socio-economic, health and environmental conditions.

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The DRR plan is expected to be replicated in other oil producing states and transit states, depending on availability of resources and commitment of relevant stakeholders.

 The pilot scheme of the DRR plan was carried out in Bayelsa State between May 26 and 28, 2014, ,and the selected communities for the pilot scheme were Ikarama and Kalada communities while the second phase was carried out also in Bayelsa between August 24 and 27, 2015 with 25 participating communities.

In a related development, the Federal Government on Tuesday mandated AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd. ,AEEPCo, to stop the operation of an oilfield in Bayelsa State.

This was contained in a statement issued by Saghir el Mohammed, Director of Press, Ministry of Environment, in Abuja.

According to Mohammed, the government has ordered that the company should not operate in the area until a proper investigation is carried out and adequate measures put in place to ensure the safety of lives and properties.

This was a measure to address the recent oil spillage at Santa Barbara in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, he explained.

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“The Federal Government has directed the exploration company, AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited, AEEPCo, to halt operations in the area until a proper investigation is carried out.

“Also, adequate measures will as well be put in place to ensure the safety of lives and property in the area.

“It can be recalled that the spill occurred on Nov. 5, 2021, in the form of a fountain within the proximity of Opu Nembe Community at Well 1, Well Head located at the Southern Field of Santa Barbara.

“Upon receipt of the report of the incident, a Joint Investigation Team, JIT, comprising the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, was set up.

“Also, the State Ministry of Environment, Community representatives, and Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company were set up on Nov. 6, 2021, to immediately address the situation.

“The exercise was inclusive because of inaccessibility to the wellhead location due to the hydrocarbon fumes that saturated the atmosphere in the area.

“Consequently, the JIT directed AEEPCo to shut down the impacted asset, wellhead, for appropriate oil spill response.

“Accordingly, AEEPCo deployed booms and skimmers to contain the spill of crude oil from spreading.

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“As of Nov. 10, 2021, efforts to shut the well have proven difficult due to inaccessibility.

“Meanwhile, in an effort to safeguard the environment and livelihood, staffers from the NOSDRA’s Yenagoa Field Office were deployed to the site to monitor and give a progress report on the measures being taken to address the issue.

“There are further directives to AEEPCo to engage all relevant stakeholders in the spilled oil recovery process.

“In this vein, 3,000 barrels of emulsified crude oil have been recovered and held in a recovery barge.

Also, additional booms were deployed by the Clean Nigeria Association, CAN, System to work with the on-site recovery contractor.

“Further effort yielded results as containment and recovery within the leak area have been reinforced by Nov. 15”, he said.

Mohammed also said that the CNA has mobilised to the site for enhanced containment and recovery.

Aljazirahnews


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