Nigeria: Oil Spill - Equipment Failure Forces AGIP to Shut Down Idu Well in Bayelsa

Yenagoa — The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has shut down its Idu oilfields at Egbebiri settlement within Biseni in Yenagoa local government area in Bayelsa over oil leakage from equipment failure.

The cause of the leakage, according to the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) report on the incident, is traced to equipment failure due to a rupture at the wellhead.

In a response, Eni, a parent company of NAOC said the facility was shut down to prevent further damage to the environment.

A statement made available by Eni spokesperson on behalf of the Italian Energy firm reads: "As soon as the incident was reported we activated our oil spill response, shut in the well and notified government regulatory agencies.

"The joint investigation visit (JIV) was carried out on 09/05/2021 with participation of community representatives and the government regulatory agencies.

"The event occurred within the Company's well head location which is paved and walled round. There is no significant third party impact."

Commenting on the development, the safe environment advocacy group, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), said that the incident which discharged crude and associated gas had severely polluted the environment.

ERA/FoEN stated that a visit to the spill site showed pictorial evidence of the crude spreading beyond NAOC's right of way as nearby vegetation were withered as a result of the crude impact.

According to a field report on the spill incident signed by Mr Alagoa Morris, hyead of Field Operations at ERA/FoEN, the Idu fields was notorious for frequent spills caused by equipment failure.

"The people of Egbebiri in the Biseni kingdom have experienced several oil spills over the years. And all the oil spill incidents documented by the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) in this community environment have occurred as a result of equipment failure and on Wellheads.

"ERA/FoEN has had cause to visit the environment of Idu Well 5 and 11 located within the same place in the past and it has always been Idu Well 11 spewing crude oil into the environment.

"Available records from ERA/FoEN indicate that there has been previous oil spills from this particular Idu Well 11 operated by Agip. Before concluding this Field Report, ERA/FoEN confirmed that Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on Sunday, 9th May, 2021.

"This is why the official Spill Reference No 2021/ LAR/028/058 is indicated in this report; sourced from the JIV report. Cause of spill was attributed to equipment failure," ERA/FoEN stated.

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