Governor Godswill Akpabio
Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government has directed Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC/MPN) Joint Venture (JV) to speed up the cleaning of the areas affected by the oil spill at the Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT), Ibeno.
The government also urged the oil giant to provide relief materials to the affected communities.
The State Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Mr. Enobong Uwah, who led the state government gave the directive after inspection of the site of the oil spill.
To remediate the environment and determine the exact volume of the spill, the commissioner urged the oil major to work with the regulators and the affected communities so that everybody involved would be satisfied without any suspicion.
He commended Mobil for reporting the recent oil spill from its facility and called on oil companies operating in the country to examine their pipelines in view of the increasing incidents of oil spill in the country.
The commissioner appealed to the local authorities, traditional rulers and youths in the affected areas to continue to maintain peace as government would continue to protect their interest.
Briefing the commissioner earlier, Mr. John Arkley, who is in charge of the Joint Ventures Operations, said the oil spill of November 9 was reported immediately it was detected and the Western flank of the terminal was immediately shut down.
According to him, the spill has not affected production as the oil firm optimises production on the Eastern field.
Also speaking, the Deputy Operations Manager of Mobil, Mr. Udobong Ntia, explained that the company had mobilised people to clean up the spill using approved dispersants that are not harmful to human beings and the environment.
In his reactions, the General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Mr. Paul Arinze, appealed to the community leaders to remain calm as the company had employed contractors from the local communities for the cleaning operation, adding that the company was investigating the root cause of the leakage in order to avoid future occurrences.