Nigerian Government Directs AITEO Exploration Company to Shut Oil Wells in Bayelsa Due to Spillage

Nigerian Government Directs AITEO Exploration Company to Shut Oil Wells in Bayelsa Due to Spillage

  • In 2017, United Nation revealed that oil spillage in Nigeria will cost at least one hundred billion dollars and about 30 years to clean up the mess
  • And it seems the battle to stay alive for residents in oil-rich states is far from over for residents of Nembe, Bayelsa State
  • The spillage was first discovered on Friday, 5 November 2021 has been a source of serious concern for the federal government

The Federal Government has directed AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd (AEEPCo), to stop operating in the Nembe oil spill area of Bayelsa State.

This was contained in a statement issued by Saghir el Mohammed, Press Director, 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 property.

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Nigerian government directs AITEO exploration company to shut oil wells in Bayelsa due to spillage
A man scoops spilled crude oil Credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei
Source: Getty Images

Part of the statement reads:

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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 a form of a fountain within the proximity of Opu Nembe Community at Well 1, Well Head located at the Southern Field of Sant 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."

He also revealed that the state Ministry of Environment, Community representatives, and Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company set up on Nov. 6, 2021, a committee o immediately address the situation.

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The statement however revealed not much could be done 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 in the impacted asset (wellhead) for appropriate oil spilI response. Accordingly, AEEPCo deployed booms and skimmers to contain the spill crude oil from spreading. As of Nov. 10, 2021, efforts to shut the well have proven difficult due to inaccessibility.
“Further effort yielded result as containment and recovery within the leak area have been reinforced by November 15.”

Eyebrows raised on govt plans to increase pressure on its finances in an earlier report revealed that the federal government has announced the payment of N5,000 as a transport grant after the removal of the fuel subsidy.

Nigeria's minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, on Tuesday, November 23, revealed that beneficiaries would be Nigerians who make up the poorest population.

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According to the minister, FG hopes to do this before June 2022 in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

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