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General News of Thursday, 25 November 2021


Cause of Nembe oil spill yet to be determined - Federal Government

Oil spillage Oil spillage

Three weeks after a pipeline explosion in Nembe, Bayelsa State, which led to oil spillage across 45 communities in the state, the federal government, yesterday, said it was yet to establish the cause of the eruption. It frowned on speculations that the explosion might be an act of sabotage.

The federal government also denied reports that the country lost over 200,000 barrels of oil to the spillage, which had not been contained since the explosion on November 1.

Director General/Chief Executive Officer, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Idris Musa, who spoke yesterday on the “Morning Show,” a programme monitored on ARISE NEWS Channel, said no one has been able to access the wellhead to determine what exactly happened.

A delegation sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to assess the oil spill at the Santa Barbara, South-west oilfield yesterday promised to ensure speedy redress of the situation.

Similarly, Halliburton Co., one of the world’s largest oil services companies, confirmed that one of its units had been hired to help seal a wellhead that had been spewing its contents for several weeks in the Niger Delta.

Musa said the rescue teams on ground had so far recovered 4,105 barrels of oil since the Nembe oil spill began.

He insisted that the cause of the oil spill could only be verified by facts and not by speculations and simulations.

He, however, said the concern of government now was not the volume of oil loss, but the communities that the oil spill was affecting.

Reacting to claims that NOSDRA had not been in control of the area since the oil spill started on November 1.

Musa said the first thing NOSDRA did was to ask the oil company to begin oil recovery process, since the oil spill could not be stopped immediately.

He said it was later discovered that Nigerian engineers could not stop the oil spillage, which compelled government to contact international oil companies to come and help stop the flow.

He added that it took some process and time, which caused some delay in addressing the situation.

Going forward, Musa said Nigeria needed to develop local human capacity that could handle such disaster.

FG’s Delegation Visits Bayelsa Oil Spill Site, Pledges Redress

A federal government delegation led by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, which visited communities affected by the spillage, told the people of Nembe that the president was seriously concerned about the leak and had instructed relevant government agencies to take appropriate actions to bring the situation under control.

During the on-the-spot assessment, which was meant to get a first-hand account of the magnitude of the spillage that occurred at an Aiteo Eastern Exploration Company (AEEPCO) facility in the area, Sylva lamented the incessant degradation of the Niger Delta environment.

The minister was joined on the inspection by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr Gbenga Komolafe; the traditional ruler of Opu-Nembe Kingdom, His Royal Highness King Biobelemoye Josiah; and House of Representatives member representing Brass/Nembe Constituency, Mr. Israel Adi.

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