Deploy equipment in Nembe Creek to stop the leak
In the midst of a crisis, Aiteo responds to communities with relief material
Aiteo, Nigeria’s indigenous oil company, experienced a severe wellhead leak crisis that catapulted it to the point of becoming the very first indigenous player to face a crisis of this proportion which is a familiar phenomenon in the operations of major international oil companies, which are sometimes not heard of.
Over the weekend, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), operator of the NNPC / Aiteo Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 joint venture, deployed advanced cleaning equipment to plug the broken wellhead in Santa Barbara. , in the southwest field, in the Nembe local government area of Bayelsa State.
Victor Okoronkwo, his group’s chief executive, said the company had moved environmental dams and barges to mop up the spilled crude, adding that all relevant staff and experts, local and international, were on site, with a scattering Navy carrying the pumps, chemicals, cranes, and firefighting equipment was now 100 percent mobilized and navigating to the location.
“The containment exercise continues, with booms and environmental barges mopping up the spilled crude,” Okoronkwo said.
Ewarezi Useh, operations manager of the wholly-owned Nigerian company, had briefed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva on the evaluation of the company’s pre-slaughter well by Boots & Coots, assuring that the The well would be secured within 48 hours of its visit, thanks to the progress made by its team of technical experts in the field.
Experts in the oil industry, who have followed the development since the start of the crisis, said, while weighing in on the incident, that they were firmly convinced that a company like Aiteo which has long mourned with 70 for cent of vandalism of its Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) infrastructure, and which, despite supporting security architecture in the region, including the Nigerian Navy, with tens of millions of surveillance equipment, needs the support and encouragement from regulators and everyone at a time like this.
“When an incident of national proportions like this occurs, national agencies like NEMA and other industry regulators should show their support for local investors like Aiteo, who are firmly committed to a place in the industry,” an oil and gas expert told this newspaper. during the weekend.
“It’s not fair to watch a six-year-old Nigerian company wallow in security concerns and sit down to point fingers at accusers,” another industry expert said, while calling for full support to enable Aiteo to overcome the current crisis.
The Aiteo GMD had previously assured the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, that the gushing wellhead would be secured within 48 hours in view of the progress made by its team of technical experts.
“Following the visit of the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and other dignitaries to take stock of the situation at Ground Zero yesterday [Friday], continued efforts are being made to plug the well of his field in Santa Barbara, in the southwest, in the local government area of Nembe in the state of Bayelsa, ”he said.
He said the minister, Silva, had had detailed discussions with Aiteo’s response team on the ground, led by its director of operations, Ewarezi Useh, who briefed him on the pre-assessment of the well. by Boots & Coots, assuring him that the well would be obtained within 48 hours of his visit.
Afterward, he had a public meeting with the Opu-Nembe Kingdom where he and other leaders of regulatory bodies had detailed interaction with the people. Together with the company, they assured them that their concerns and grievances would be taken into account, as investigations begin into the destruction of the well.
The containment exercise continued with booms and environmental barges mopping up the spilled crude. All relevant staff and experts, local and international, were on site. The marine spread carrying pumps, chemicals, cranes and firefighting equipment was already 100 percent mobilized, having sailed to the location.
The night crew stopped at KM45 and restarted at first light the next day with the 12h ETA on site; 2 ramp barges of 1000 MT containing simulation equipment for the destruction of wells also sailed today during navigation, simultaneous activities are underway on the barges to minimize cleaning downtime (identification and connection of pipes).
Aiteo said: “At SBAS-1 the well control package was transferred to the well platform and the crew performed an inspection with the Christmas tree and identified the THS (tubing head spool) as being 2-1 / 16 ”. We started RU (rig up) but couldn’t finish due to bad weather. Advance the full RU plan and install a well control package to stop the flow.
Giving specific updates on the site condition / fire condition in and around the well, the company said there are currently no fires on or near the well. The environmental impact study (EIA) near the area is in the planning phase with DPR / NOSDRA accredited companies.
During its update on efforts to kill the well, the company said the following steps were being taken: connecting the suction and discharge lines of two high-flow water pumps, intended to be used for l well control operation has been completed, adding that the commissioning of the pumps is in progress; the civil engineering works for the development of the debris disposal area and the dormitory placement area are in progress; a 1000 Ramp barge containing all the pimping and simulation equipment for the destruction of the well is approaching Santa Barbra according to the last report received at 9:00 p.m. Barge carrying heavy-duty well equipment under sail; and the loading of the additional equipment mobilized from Snake Island was underway and was due to arrive in the Santa Barbara staging area on Friday.
Meanwhile, for relief and recovery, the indigenous oil company provided relief materials including mosquito nets, hygiene and sanitation kits, disinfectants and different types of food items were mobilized for the immediate affected communities. by the spill.
Also, Aiteo officials closely monitor all activities related to affected communities, with regard to: food, lighting, hygiene, drinking water and medical needs with the help of local associations. .
Aiteo and HSE’s Safety and Security teams monitor air quality every six hours to determine responsibility for areas adjacent to the zero point. The company is also mobilizing additional relief supplies for affected communities.