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Agip shuts down Bayelsa oil well amid spill

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Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, said the incident which discharged crude and associated gas had severely polluted the environment.

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company has confirmed an oil leak from its Idu oilfields at Egbebiri settlement within Biseni in Yenagoa local government area in Bayelsa, resulting in its shutdown.

The firm disclosed this on Wednesday.

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

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

“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 the participation of community representatives and the government regulatory agencies.

“The event occurred within the Company’s wellhead location, which is paved and walled round. There is no significant third-party impact,” Eni stated.

However, an environmental rights group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, said the incident which discharged crude and associated gas had severely polluted the environment.

The group added that a visit to the spill site showed evidence of the crude oil spreading beyond NAOC’s right of way as nearby vegetation withered.

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

“The people of Egbebiri in 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,” stated the group’s report.

It added, “Available records from ERA/FoEN indicate that there have 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 9 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.”

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