Local Oil & Gas Company Eroton has lamented constant outside intervention at its facilities less than a month after the initial attack, raising concerns of a new oil disaster.
Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited announced that a second wellhead in their oil mining acreage has experienced another incident that is suspected to be the result of third-party interference after their recent oil spill incident in Cawthorne Channel Well head 15 occurred barely a month ago.
The company claimed that, like the previously reported occurrence, the recent spill also happened in the Cawthorne Channel field, well head 047 Long string (CAWC047L). On Saturday, July 10, 2022, early in the morning, the CAWC-047 wild oil leak was discovered.
The Long String arm of the dual-string well CAWC047L/S was shut in in April 2020 as a result of flowline vandalism, and the Short String arm was shut in for the same reasons in July 2020. When viewed from a distance, the wellhead valves on the body of the Christmas tree are missing.
Head of External Affairs and Corporate Communications Mercy Max-Ebibai confirmed the incident on behalf of Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited, saying that the spill was noticed at around 7:45 a.m. coming from the CAWC047L’s wing valve arm, which appears to have been vandalized with the valves, control panels, bean-box, and actuators all carted away.
Due to the proven compromised and vandalized XMAS Tree containment valves of the wellhead, “the well was observed to be leaking uncontrolled flow of hydrocarbon to the environment from the lengthy string,” she continued.
She added that the Eroton Emergency Response Team has been working nonstop to contain the issue despite the high-pressure emission of petroleum.
The master valve appeared to have been damaged and was jammed, thus an immediate intervention to shut-in the well through it was unsuccessful. The emergency downhole safety system’s activation and operation were reportedly hampered by a claimed vulnerability in the control line of the emergency downhole safety valve, the business said.
The business stated that work is being done to fix all of the defective valves on the Christmas tree that were discovered stuck in the closed position. Additionally, a first reaction has been activated for recovery and containment.
“Statutory notification to regulators can only be completed by Wednesday, July 13, 2022, due to the administrative difficulties brought on by the public holidays. But in the interim, an electronic incident notification was issued to the concerned regulators. Experts in wild well control are anticipated to arrive tomorrow to analyze the issue and develop a plan to keep the well under control, according to the company.
With recent reports from industry regulator NUPRC confirming the activities of oil thieves in Q1 of year 2022 alone amounting to $1billion, Eroton, which has just mobilized an oil spill control vendors to the previous oil spill site at CAWC15, joins a long list of operators complaining of the anti-economic activities and sabotage by vandals and oil thieves.