Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), operator of the NNPC /Aiteo Joint Venture of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 has called for the understanding of the traditional leadership and people of Nembe Kingdom over the November 5th hydrocarbon well head leak in its Santa Barbara, Southwest field, in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
According to Aiteo, though the accurate cause of the leak has not been ascertained, all efforts are being put in place including the collaboration with Clean Nigeria Associates (CNA) to ensure the containment and mobilized, locally and internationally, on a fast-track basis, to bring the well under control.
The Aiteo Group CEO Mr. Benedict Peters, who led a delegation of senior personnel to the stakeholders in Nembe kingdom and the Traditional Ruler of Opu-Nembe, His Royal Majesty, King Biobelemoye Josiah Ogbodo VIII, his council of chiefs and all sections of the society, confirmed that the oil multinational have made available, for the use of the communities, relief materials aimed at ameliorating the direct consequences of the incident.
Peters also extended his assurances to the affected communities, confirming that the company is trying all it could to contain the raging leakage, “We are doing everything in our power to contain this spill and ameliorate the situation as rapidly, safely and responsibly as possible.
mobilized best-in-class resources and expertise to put this mishap behind us. Be rest assured of our resolve to limit the escape of oil and protect the ecosystem from its effects.”
According to Aiteo, in a statement later issued by its Media Contact, Ndiana Matthew,” Aiteo remains committed to ascertaining, immediately the well head is secure, the immediate and remote causes of the leak which will be driven by a JIV that will follow. Nevertheless, it is important that we affirm our preliminary view, based on our assessment of the proximate circumstances, that it will be difficult to exclude deliberate tampering of the well by oil thieves attempting to siphon crude directly from the well head. In our view, sabotage remains the most imminent cause of this incident”.
“Aiteo feels deeply concerned about the occurrence of the incident at all. The circumstances and fortunes of the immediate community remains our most anxious consideration and, at this time, has assumed the highest priority, alongside making safe the well and its immediate environs. It is our fervent desire that in the attainment of this intensely challenging objective, the interests of the proximate community continue to be safeguarded in every material respect by the collective efforts of our company and all the industry professionals whose involvement Aiteo has convoked”.
Aiteo also noted with concern that Oil theft and asset vandalism had continued to present the biggest challenge the company faces in the operations of oil and gas production in the Niger Delta area,” It has continued to damage the production profile of oil producers in so many ways. As we commend the relevant security agencies with whom we interface to combat this menace, we believe the need and capacity to provide significantly more remain overwhelmingly critical especially because there is so much more to be done to realign the architecture of the delivery infrastructure of oil and gas production in Nigeria in line with the current industry structure of multiple producers operating assets that were previously built and managed by one producer”.