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HomeTop NewsNigeria’s crude oil output falls as Aiteo shuts down Nembe oilfields following...

Nigeria’s crude oil output falls as Aiteo shuts down Nembe oilfields following leak

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Nigeria’s crude oil production has taken a significant hit as Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), the operator of the NNPC/Aiteo Joint Venture on OML 29, halted operations in the Nembe oilfields due to an oil leak.

Aiteo’s Media Officer, Ndiana-Abasi Matthew, confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that an oil leak occurred at the Nembe Creek loading facility on Monday evening, June 17, 2024.

The leak was discovered during routine operations, prompting the immediate activation of AEEPCO’s Oil Spill and Emergency Response Team and the subsequent shutdown of all production from OML 29.

The company described the shutdown as a “precautionary measure” while additional resources were mobilized to contain the spill. “The cause of the spill is currently undetermined. However, we are proactively engaging with stakeholders to mitigate the immediate effects,” the statement read.

Victor Okoronkwo, Aiteo Group Managing Director, explained that the relevant institutions had been notified and a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) with other stakeholders had been initiated to determine the cause of the incident.

The JIV, scheduled for Wednesday, includes representatives from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, community members, and other stakeholders.

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The company expressed regret over the “production losses to the Joint Venture and the nation and the potential environmental impact,” emphasizing that their 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.

Contrary to the company’s preliminary reports, St. George Kumo, Chairman of the Oil and Gas Committee in Nembe Kingdom, stated that the spill was caused by an accidental collision between two vessels, one of which was loading crude oil at the time.

Kumo reported that the spill had spread to Okpoama in the neighboring Brass Local Government Area, paralyzing fishing and other economic activities in the area.

The incident highlights the fragile nature of Nigeria’s oil production infrastructure and the significant economic and environmental risks posed by such leaks.

The shutdown of the Nembe oilfields underscores the importance of robust safety measures and prompt, effective responses to oil spills to minimize impact on local communities and the environment.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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