Chika Amanze-Nwachuku and Okon Bassey
The Director, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr. Idris Musa, has confirmed the receipt of a report of the oil spill from the facility of Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), a subsidiary of the American oil giant, ExxonMobil.
Musa, who is in charge of oil spills in NOSDRA said: “We received a report from Mobil that there was a spill at their field and we have dispatched our officers from our Uyo office to the spill site to access the impact.
“They are estimating that the spilled volume is between 50 and 100 barrels but that is a mere estimate because the investigation would determine precisely the quantity of oil discharged into the environment,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Mobil has moblised a team of responders to commence the clean up of the areas affected by the oil spill.
In a statement by the General Manager, Public and Government Affairs of MPN, Mr. Paul Arinze, the oil giant expressed regrets over the incident.
“Our teams are being mobilised to clean up the area. We apologise for the inconveniences that it has caused”, the statement quoted the managing director, Mark Ward, to have said.
The company said the cleanup activities are being coordinated with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment and local community leaders.
It said dispersants and boom are being deployed as approved by the regulatory authorities, adding that more than 100 personnel would be involved in the clean up exercise.
“An investigation into the cause of the release is ongoing. A preliminary estimate of approximately 200 barrels of oil has been provided to the regulatory authorities. An early volume estimate is required to support planning of response efforts. Once the incident investigation is complete, the volume released will be updated”, the company said.
Mobil on Friday confirmed that it recorded another oil release offshore Akwa Ibom State. Arinze had explained that the source of the leak, was identified and the pipeline isolated and shutdown. He stated that emergency response personnel and equipment was immediately deployed to the leak site while regulatory and community representatives were also notified of the development.