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Nigeria’s Aiteo hires Halliburton to help curtail oil spill in Bayelsa

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  • Halliburton’s (NYSE:HAL) Boots & Coots unit has been hired to help seal a well head in Nigerua’s Delta region that has been leaking for at least three weeks, Bloomberg reports.
  • Local producer Aiteo says it expects the leak to be “abated and significantly diminished” by the involvement of Halliburton’s specialists.
  • Aiteo reported the spill on November 5 in the Nembe area of Bayelsa state in Nigeria’s Delta, one of the world’s most polluted places after decades of spills.
  • But Nigerian advocacy group Environmental Rights Action says oil has been leaking “under high pressure” at the site since November 1.
  • Shell reportedly lifted force majeure on crude exports from Nigeria’s Bonny Light terminal following repairs to a leaking pipeline.

Halliburton Co., one of world’s largest oil services companies, said a unit of the firm has been hired to help seal a well head in southern Nigeria that’s been spewing its contents for several weeks.

The Houston-based firm’s Boots & Coots unit has been called in by independent producer Aiteo Eastern E&P Co., to contain the leak from a non-producing well in the southern Bayelsa state, a spokeswoman confirmed.

The spill is on a field, known as Oil Mining License 29, which Aiteo acquired from a consortium headed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc six years ago. It operates the license in a joint venture with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

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Lagos-based Aiteo said on Nov. 20 that it expects the leak to be “abated and significantly diminished” by the involvement of Halliburton’s specialists.

Oil has been leaking “under high pressure” since Nov. 1, according to a statement on Wednesday by Nigerian advocacy group Environmental Rights Action, which visited the site on Sunday.

The rupture on the field that’s located in mangrove forests has been releasing crude into the surrounding river, and fumes into the air. 

The field produced about 27,000 barrels per day in 2020, according to information published by NNPC. Output, which had dropped to about 9,500 barrels a day by July, is transported via a pipeline to Shell’s Bonny export terminal.

Aiteo has so far recovered at least 3,000 barrels of emulsified crude oil from the surrounding river, Lagos-based Thisday newspaper reported Wednesday, citing a statement by Nigeria’s environment ministry. (Bloomberg)

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