Oil Spill: Petroleum Minister, Timipre Sylva Visits Site, Expresses Satisfaction with Aiteo’s Efforts

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Oil Spill: Petroleum Minister, Timipre Sylva Visits Site, Expresses Satisfaction with Aiteo’s Efforts

Oil Spill: Petroleum Minister, Timipre Sylva Visits Site, Expresses Satisfaction with Aiteo’s Efforts
November 25
20:07 2021

• Aiteo to stop spill in 2 days

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, upon visiting the site of the oil spill on River Santa Barbara, Nembe, Bayelsa State, has expressed satisfaction with the efforts of Aiteo Group at containing and cleaning up the spill incident, which cause is yet to be unravelled.

Leading the Federal Government delegation on inspection and assessment of the situation, Sylva assured the people of community that the Federal Government was working hand-in-hand with Aiteo to bring normalise the situation as very quickly as possible.

Pleased by the containment efforts of Aiteo, Timipre Sylva said “nobody can stop an accident but when an accident happens, we want to also see that steps are being taken to ensure that things are corrected. So we have gone to the site, as sent by the President; we have looked at the place and have seen that the company (Aiteo) is making reasonable efforts to contain the spill.

“We will go and make comprehensive report to Mr. President, and we will get back to the community.

“And of course, the company has assured us that they are going to do everything to ensure that the spill is contained and Christmas Tree is repaired. In fact, they have given us a commitment that in the next two days, they would be in a position to, at least, stop the spill.

The Minister commended the community for exhibiting comportment since the oil pollution began.

“We will like to also use the opportunity to thank the community for being peaceful, for not taking the laws into the hands. We are quite happy that they took this position. We want to assure them that Mr. President is always on the side of the people. We will stand with them.

“We want to make sure the company does the right thing; and of course, the regulators (Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission) are here to ensure that. We will continue to monitor the situation and continue to keep you briefed,” Sylva ascertained.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, has assured the community that “the commission would do everything possible to ensure that regulator operates with the best practices in a manner that the activities do not further negatively impact the lives of the people in the host community.”

In his reaction, the visibly elated traditional ruler of the community, Amanayabo of Opu-Nembe,
His Royal Majesty Biobelemoye Josiah, acknowledged Aiteo for making provisions of relief materials for the people.

“I want to also accept that they (Aiteo) did well by providing relief materials but we still need more,” said the king.

He also advised that people should refrain from being quick to label the spill incident as sabotage. “That way, we can create better relationship between the community and organisations,” he admonished.

Aiteo has since intensified efforts with at the site to halt the spread of crude oil from the leaking oil well 01 of Aiteo’s OML 29.

Chief Operating Officer of Aiteo, Ewariesi Useh, restated the company’s commitment to its words from day one. According to him, Aiteo’s priority remains stopping the spillage and containing and killing the well.

“We are in concert with Haliburton; Coots and Boots are already on the ground; as I speak, equipments are being mobilised from Port- Harcourt to put out the spill, contain and kill the well.

“Also, as a responsible company, we are concerned about the plight the community has had to face. So we are being very careful with our words; and we do not want to go ahead and indict anybody until a postmortem is concluded,” Useh cautioned.

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