Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company says the wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field in Nembe, Bayelsa State which blew up on November 5, would be secured in 48 hours.
The firm said its officials were closely monitoring all activities related to the affected communities in Nembe Local Government Area, including feeding, lighting, hygiene, drinking water and medical requirements with the help of local associations.
The wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field blew up on November 5, spewing oil into the water bodies.
It is jointly owned by Aiteo Eastern E & P Company Ltd, AEEPCO and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to aeepco’s Group Managing Director, Victor Okoronkwo, its Safety and security teams are monitoring the quality of air every six hours to ascertain the livability of the areas adjoining ground zero, while also mobilizing additional relief materials for the affected communities.
The company emphasised that there was currently no fire at or within the vicinity of the well, while Environmental Impact Assessment in vicinity of the area is in planning phase with a DPR / NOSDRA accredited firm.
This move follows the visit of Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and other dignitaries to take stock of the situation at ground zero on November 24.
The company said efforts to cap the leaking wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field received a boost with the deployment of heavy equipment, including two 1000 metric tonnes (mt) ramps.
The ramps which sailed to the ground zero in Nembe Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa State on Wednesday, are expected to boost ongoing containment exercises, with booms and environmental barges already mopping up spilled crude.
During the visit, Aiteo’s intervention team on ground, led by its Chief Operations Officer, Ewarezi Useh assured the minister that the well would be secured within 48 hours of the visit.
Aiteo assured that the “containment exercise continues, with booms and environmental barges mopping up spilled crude.
“All relevant personnel and experts, local and international are now on location. The marine spread carrying the pumps, chemicals, cranes and firefighting equipment are 100 per cent mobilised and have started sail to location.”
It said the crew did a night stop on Thursday at KM45 and took off again first light Friday morning with ETA 12noon on site
The company said it commenced RU (rig up) but could not finish due to bad weather.