Eroton Confirms Well-head Fire Incident at OML 18 Asset, Suspects Sabotage

Sunday Okobi

Nigerian indigenous oil and gas company, Eroton Exploration and Production Company, has confirmed a well-head fire incident that occurred at the Akaso field of the Cawthrone Channel operational area of its OML 18 Asset in Degema Local Government Area of River State on January 20, 2023.

The company spokesperson, Mercy Max-Ebibai, in a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, stated that the well was reported to be releasing hydrocarbon to the environment with wildfire due to suspected vandalisation and bunkering activity attempted on the XMAS Tree containment valves of the wellhead.

 According to the statement, “An oil-laden wooden boat was initially observed in the vicinity and a loud bang was also reported.

“This resulted in the fires drifting to two wellheads, only one of which is still aflame at the point of reporting. Akaso6LS fire has died out while Akaso15L is still on fire.”

 Furthermore, Max-Ebibai added that an Emergency Response Team (ERT) has been convened and the company’s skilled well control engineers are working with an experienced wild-well control vendor “who has been contracted to carry out an assessment of the current wild well fire situation, design a technical solution and firefighting strategy.”

 The spokesperson also confirmed that all regulatory obligations had been adhered to with the relevant authorities duly notified within the allowed window and that they are working closely with the relevant authorities to investigate the cause of the incident and determine the extent of the damage.

She stated that the safety and well-being of the company’s employees and host communities are their top priority, adding: “We continue to appreciate the effort of the authorities, and the entire oil and gas industry to stem these incessant, unfortunate, and expensive incidents.

 “Eroton is the operator of OML 18 on behalf of the NNPC/Eroton JV. OML 18 oil field situated in the Eastern Niger Delta and covers a total area of 1,035 sq km in an onshore swamp terrain. Eroton has a clear vision for the future, which is evident from the six-fold increase in production since the asset was acquired in 2015. Eroton is based in Lagos and Rivers States in Nigeria.”

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