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NEMBE OIL SPILL: Well Still Discharging Crude – NOSDRA . . . Company Suspects Sabotage

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by Our Correspondent

The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on Sunday, November 14th declared that the Nov. 5 oil spill reported at an oil well within Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 was yet to abate 10 days after the incident.

The Director-General of NOSDRA, Idris Musa, stated that the leak was yet to be plugged as at Sunday, November 14th, adding that the intensity of the leak was hampering investigations at the incident site.

On whether the leak has been capped, the NOSDRA DG said: “Not yet, the Clean Nigeria Associates (CNA), an alliance of all oil firms operating in the country has been called to beef up oil recovery.

“That effort is to reduce the ultimate risk and impact on the environment.”

He further stated that following the inability of the indigenous operator of OML 29 Aiteo Eastern Exploration & Exploration Company to stop the leak, it was definite that international help will be required to block the leakage.

On the category of the spill incident which ranges from tier I, II and III where I is leak within an operator’s control and II requiring intervention across the industry and III of international magnitude. Musa said the incident cannot yet be classified as a tier II spill.

“It is not yet tier II, but we are already prepared in anticipation.

“So CNA can start work today.” NOSDRA managing director declared.

Aiteo Eastern Exploration & Production, had in a statement on Wednesday, said it was yet to ascertain the volume of the crude that had been discharged into the surrounding environment.

In a related development, a statement signed by the spokesman of the company, Mr Mathew Ndianabasi said the oil firm suspected sabotage as the cause of the spill and assured that the company was mobilising local and international know-how to contain the incident.

It was learnt that officials of NOSDRA deployed to ascertain the cause and estimated volume of crude discharge could not conduct the investigation whilst the leak was still ongoing.

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