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NOSDRA Confirms Well Leakage At Eroto’s OML 18

The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has confirmed a leak at oil mining lease (OML) 18, operated by Eroton Exploration and Production Limited.

OML 18 is a large oil bloc located towards the south of Port Harcourt, Rivers state, and contains 11 oil and gas fields.

According to NAN, residents reported that the facility has been discharging its content into the coastal environment for the past one week.

Idris Musa, director-general of NOSDRA, confirmed the leak on Saturday.

Musa said NOSDRA had received the report of the incident and efforts were being made to plug the leaking oil well.

“The company reported and oil recovery is underway. Efforts are on to stop the source which is a wellhead,” Musa said.

Also, a notification report by Odianosen Massade, corporate communications lead at Eroton, indicated that the incident occurred on June 15, while a site assessment visit was carried out on June 23.

The oil firm said preliminary findings indicated that the incident was due to suspected vandalism.

“This is to bring to your attention the loss of control of Cawthorne Channel well 15 resulting to oil spill,” Massade said.

“CAWC015L/S is a dual string well which started production in May 1977. The short string was shut-in in 1988 due to the high gas oil ratio (HGOR), while the long string watered out and well quit in 1991.

“The spill started on the 15th of June 2022 and immediately an emergency response procedure was activated.

“The operations team quickly visited the site for preliminary investigation and discovered that the wellhead was vandalised.

“It was also observed that the wellhead platform was removed, and this will compound the difficulties in gaining access to the wellhead.

“Our team of Well Engineers are working with contractors and evaluating the safest procedure that will be required to bring the well under control.”

Massade said the company had activated an oil spill emergency response plan and booms had been deployed for mitigation in the area as a preliminary containment procedure.

“Notifications have also been sent out to all the relevant regulators (NOSDRA, NUPRC & RSMENV),” he said.

“A Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) by all stakeholders is planned for this week although this is subject to readiness and availability of the key stakeholders.

“Our operations team is monitoring the site, commenced oil recovery and are prepared to respond to any escalation.”

A similar incident had occurred on November 5, 2021, at nearby OML 29 operated by Aiteo Eastern Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production.

Eroton and Aiteo acquired their assets following the 2015 divestment by Shell Petroleum Development Company from some of its onshore assets.

The two Nigerian companies assumed operator status in the joint venture (JV) arrangement with the Nigerian Petroleum Company.

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