Nigeria’s Oil Production Threatened As Aiteo Shuts Down 150,000bpd Field Due To Spill

1 month ago
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There are concerns that Nigeria’s oil production output has dropped, after Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company shutdown its Nembe Creek oil field, that produces about 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) on 17 June 2024.

According to Aiteo E&P the leak occurred on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), a pipeline that transports oil from the field to the Bonny Oil Export Terminal.

Aiteo reported that upon discovery of the spill during routine operations in the Nembe area of Bayelsa State, it halted all production from OML 29, in an effort to lessen the effects of the disaster, while its Oil Spill and Emergency Response Team was promptly called into action.

Commenting on the incident, Victor Okoronkwo, Group Managing Director, Aiteo E&P, said: “While we regret the production losses and the potential environmental impact, our current priority is to expedite an efficient spill management process in line with regulatory standards and collaborate with all stakeholders to restore production and mitigate associated risks.”

The company said the cause of the spill is yet to be determined.

Okoronkwo said the firm’s joint venture partners and the relevant regulators – the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) – have been notified of the incident.

He added that a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) with stakeholders has been initiated to determine the cause of this incident.

READ ALSO: Special Report On Nembe Oil Spill Indicts AITEO, Shell, Others

Prime Business Africa reports that the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), also confirmed the incident on Wednesday.

Solomon Ukponevi, head of NOSDRA’s field office in Yenagoa said the agency had deployed its officials to the spill site, to ascertain the cause and volume of crude oil discharged to the environment.

On the extent of the resulting pollution, Ukponevi said that the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV), scheduled for Wednesday, will determine the impacted area, among other details.

He said: “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 [an] investigation is underway.”

Aiteo E&P acquired the Nembe field from Shell in 2015.

Prime Business Africa gathered that following persistent vandalism on the 97-kilometre Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) with a capacity to evacuate 180,000 barrels of crude daily, the indigenous firm abandoned it and resorted to using barges to convey 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, from which Aiteo exports the Nembe Crude blend to crude tankers in the Atlantic Ocean.

According to sources at the oilfield, the incident resulted in a significant amount of Nembe Crude blend being released into the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding creeks.

Impact of Oil Spills in Niger Delta

Communities in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region have for decades suffered the devastating impact of Oil spill as the disaster often caused by either vandalism or pipeline corrosion, pollutes the rivers and creeks that the people depend on for both water supply, farming and fishing.

The people have continued to lament about the impact on their livelihoods.

On the other hand, oil theft in the region also causes heavy revenue losses to the Nigerian government due to significant dip in production output.

At the third edition of the Niger Delta Alternative Convergence held in Abuja, on Wednesday, 19th June 2024 the stakeholders called on the Nigerian government to immediately carry out a comprehensive environmental and health audits of the entire Niger Delta region with particular alignment to livelihoods, social and economic impacts of crude oil and gas extraction.


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