Fresh Oil Leak in Nembe 4 Months After OML 29 Spill

Akanimo Sampson

Akanimo Sampson

A fresh oil leak has been reported by Nembe residents four months after the November 5 oil spill at Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 in Bayelsa State

OML 29 includes the 97 kilometre Nembe Creek Trunk Line that connects oilfields to the Bonny Export Terminal. It is operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company.

Aiteo, an indigenous oil firm acquired the OML 29 asset for $2.4 billion following divestment by Shell Petroleum Development Company in 2015.

The leak allegedly originated from a ruptured pipeline from Nembe Flow Station 4 near Ogbolomabiri area. It has been discharging crude into the Nembe creeks.

A fisherman who operates in Nembe Creeks, James Karibo, is bemoaning the incident which is coming barely three months after an earlier leak from the facility which lasted for 32 days before it was plugged.

“It is sad news for us who depend on fishing in the creeks, we have not even recovered from the losses from the last spill which contaminated the creek and destroyed our fishing nets, we are in distress and cannot fish in oil contaminated waters’’, he said.

Chief Ebinabo Waribo, of Malabo in Opu-Nembe who confirmed the incident , regretted that the oil firm was yet to commence response.

“This is a major spill at ‘Nembe 4’ through the delivery line for several weeks now and Aiteo has not responded yet. They have not mobilised a spill response team to site to contain and recover the spilled crude.

“The oil discharge has spread to Bassambiri and its satellite communities and adversely impacted the fishing vocation of the people’’, Waribo said.

Spokesman for Aiteo Group, Ndianabasi Mathew, is yet to respond to requests for comments on the development.

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