15 November 2012

Nigeria: Mobil Deploys 480 Workers to Mop up Oil Spill in Ibeno

Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) has deployed 480 personnel to mop up oil spill at the Atlantic coastline in Akwa Ibom. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the oil firm, which earlier deployed 150 youths to the spill impacted areas within its host communities, had to increase the manpower.

The decision to increase the manpower followed a joint investigation with the host communities, which indicated that the magnitude of the spill was greater than earlier estimated. Chief Ukott Esenem, the Village Head of Atia community, Ibeno, told a NAN correspondent on Thursday in Ibeno, that the increase in the workforce would speed action on the exercise and reduce the impact of the spill on the ecosystem.

"We all agreed that the spill, from all indications, is a major one because the intensity of the deposits on the shoreline was enormous. "Also the type of heavy equipment such as booms, dispersants and pumps sent to the spill site supported our position. So, officials of Mobil approved the use of additional youths from our communities to clean up the spill.

"The extra hands joined them on Wednesday and the exercise is moving fast along the coastline, while another team of experts are also working at the high sea," Esenem said.

The spill, which occurred on Nov. 9 at the company's offshore platforms, hit the Atlantic coastline on Nov. 11. A statement from the company and made available to NAN in Eket, Akwa Ibom on Monday said more than 200 barrels of crude spilled as against the 100 barrels it announced on Sunday.

The company further said that the exact volume of oil would be determined at the end of its investigation. The statement, signed by Mr Paul Arinze, the General Manager, Government and Public Affairs, said the firm regretted the spill and apologised for the inconveniences it caused the people.

"Mobil Producing Nigeria regrets this incident. Our teams are being mobilised to clean up the area. "We apologise for the inconveniences that it has caused," the statement quotes Mark Ward, the Managing Director of the company as saying. NAN

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