Nigerian oil giant, Aiteo, has stopped the oil leakage at its Santa Barbara oil well, reaching a historic milestone in solving the Nembe oil spill in Bayelsa State.
“Aiteo Eastern E & P Company Limited (“Aiteo E&P”)is pleased to inform all stakeholders, and Nigerians generally, that the impaired Santa Barbara South Well 01 in its’ OML 29 production area has been successfully brought under control, the flow stopped and the Well secured today, 8 December 2021. This outcome was achieved against the backdrop of very challenging circumstances exacerbated by the weather,” said Managing Director, Victor Okoronkwo, via a press release seen by African Probe
According to Okoronkwo, the tidal cycle in the creek, and the silted slot of the Well resulted in reduced effective working hours. These challenges impacted on the timeline of the operation.
“With this successful operation, we can now confirm that there is no more leakage from the Well. It is remarkable that even with the dangers of the high exposure and risk, the entire operation has been executed and delivered with zero incident and zero fatality.”
He said clean-up efforts that were being concurrently executed throughout this period to limit the spread of hydrocarbon will now be comprehensively escalated. To this end, concerted efforts will further be channeled immediately into increasing remediation measures. In prosecuting these remediation activities and in aligning with Aiteo E&P’s strategic priorities to ensure uninterrupted continuation of the living conditions and wellbeing of the communities remains the paramount consideration.
According to the Aiteo boss, this successful milestone is a remarkable testament to the capabilities that exist within indigenous players when faced with incidents of such magnitude, even when unanticipated. Although indigenous participation in the Upstream space is nascent, the efforts evident in the management of this incident, especially the remarkable Aiteo E&P HSE Policy, foretells the progress that has been made in building, growing, and elevating both expertise and technical capabilities by indigenous oil companies such as ours. The professionalism with which the technical and support personnel execute this significant operation cannot be overemphasized, especially, considering the challenging operating terrain.
Okoronkwo thanked the stakeholders that have been instrumental to bringing the spill under control, averting immense dangers to communities in the Nembe area.
“The motivation and inspiration that enabled this accomplishment to happen must receive special and deserved mention. We thank the Almighty God without whom none of this would have been possible. Aiteo E&P expresses profound appreciation to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the President of theFederal Republic of Nigeria, who demonstrated immeasurable and sterling leadership in this matter; the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, for his resolute support; the Honourable Minister for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, for her unique open-mindedness and the Chief Executive, NUPRC, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, for his deft management of this situation.
“We express our immense appreciation and gratitude to our Senior Joint Venture Partner, NNPC, for standing shoulder to shoulder with us during this period. We also specially thank the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mallam Melle Kyari for his exceptional leadership. In the same vein, we wish to appreciate the cooperation of the Group General Manager, NAPIMS, Mr. Bala Wunti. We thank the Director General, NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa whose insight and focus ensured that sense overwhelmed slogan; the Clean Nigeria Associates (CNA), and other related and relevant government agencies for their immense contributions, guidance, and belief in our resolve to address this mishap as well as having faith in us to deliver in these challenging times.
“ We thank Messrs. Boots and Coots whose unavoidable unavailability meant an unintended compulsion to resort to finding in-country capacity and in the process, locate both peerless competence and astuteness. To Mr. Victor Ekpenyong, Founder and CEO of Kenyon International West Africa Co. Ltd (an indigenous oil services company), we owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude for exhibition of courage and expertise. Above all, to our host communities, we thank you to no end for your understanding despite some provocative incitements that have occurred within this period.”
Okoronkwo added that “ the road ahead in sustaining this successful operation will demand co-operation, unity of purpose, continuing understanding and patience of all stakeholders towards delivering a comprehensive, impactful and timeous closure of this incident. On our part, we are buoyed by the milestone achieved, and in so doing, re-affirm our undiminished commitment to the Nigerian Oil and Gas indigenous community.”