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NOSDRA moves to stop OML 18 leak after three weeks of oil spill

The National Oil Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has stated that a leak from a wellhead at oil mining lease (OML) 18, operated by Eroton Exploration and Production Limited, will be stopped this weekend.

OML 18 is a large oil bloc located in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, containing 11 oil and gas fields.

A notification report by Odianosen Massade, corporate communications lead at Eroton, indicated that the incident occurred on June 15.

“The spill started on the 15th of June 2022, and immediately an emergency response procedure was activated,” Massade had said.

Giving an update, Idris Musa, director-general, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency stated that the leak would be finally put off this weekend.

“Containment and oil recovery is going on to prevent further spread,” Musa said. 

“The leak from the facility will be stopped this weekend.”

Mercy Ebibai, manager, external and government relations, Eroton Exploration and Production, had not responded to a message seeking clarity on the company’s effort to curtail the spread.

The company had said preliminary findings showed vandalism was the cause of the leak.

Nigeria in the first quarter of 2022 lost at least $1 billion to oil theft, according to Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

On November 5, 2021, a similar incident occurred at OML 29, operated by Aiteo Eastern Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, spreading to several communities in Bayelsa state. 

Eroton and Aiteo acquired their assets following the 2015 divestment by Shell Petroleum Development Company from some of its onshore assets.

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