11 November 2012

Nigeria: Mobil Deploys Workers, Equipment to Contain Fresh Oil Spill

The Mobil Producing Nigeria on Sunday deployed its men and equipment to tackle a spill at its Ibeno operations in Akwa Ibom.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited the Atlantic coastline in Ibeno, reports that the spill, which started on Friday, has hit the shoreline.

Oily sediments have deposited on the shoreline in Ibeno, Esit Eket, Eastern Obollo and other settlements along the coast.

Heavy equipment, chemicals, hoses and oil spill containment equipment were being moved from the jetty to the fields.

Youths from the host communities were seen agitating to be hired for the cleanup exercise.

The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency confirmed that the firm reported on Nov. 9 that 100 barrels of crude had discharged into the ocean at the Qua Iboe fields.

NAN gathered that a joint inspection visit to the spill site by community representatives, regulatory authority and Mobil has been scheduled for Monday.

Mr Idris Musa, the Director of Oil Spill Response at NOSDRA told NAN that the agency had dispatched its men to the spill site.

According to him, the team is to take samples of the crude deposits for tests.

The firm had in a statement on Sunday confirmed the spill and pledged to mitigate the impact on the environment.

The statement signed by Mr Paul Arinze, the Manager of Communications and Government Relations, regretted the spill and said it was collaborating with community representatives and regulators of the industry.

"MPN, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC/MPN) Joint Venture, confirms that on Nov. 9, an oil release occurred, offshore Akwa Ibom State.

"The source of the leak was identified and the pipeline was isolated and shutdown, emergency response personnel and equipment have been deployed.

"Regulatory and community representatives have been notified," it said.

The statement also said the firm had arranged for representatives of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), NOSDRA, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment and local community to overfly the area.

It will be recalled that two oil spills occurred at the Qua Iboe oil fields on Aug. 13 and Aug. 24. (NAN)

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