Nigerian energy company Aiteo Group has reported an “extremely high order” oil spill from one of its facilities in the Niger Delta in Nigeria.
Aiteo was founded by Nigerian billionaire oil mogul Benedict Peters.
According to information gathered by Billionaires.Africa, the incident, which took place on Nov. 5, occurred on a non-producing well jointly owned by Aiteo and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s state-owned oil company.
The oil spill affected its Santa Barbara Oil Field, which forms part of its OML-29 oil block in Nembe Creek in Bayelsa State.
Recall that the Peters-led group acquired the license in September 2015 in a deal worth $1.7 billion from Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria.
The oil block stretches over 983 square kilometers, covering the Nembe Oil Field, Santa Barbara Oil Field and Okoroba Oil Fields.
As of the time of writing, the cause of the leak has not yet been determined, but Aiteo did not rule out crude oil theft leaks and sabotage, as the energy group had to abort immediate efforts to control the leak due to the pressure emanating from the facility.
Matthew Ndiana, a spokesperson for Aiteo, disclosed that the magnitude of the incident “is of an extremely high order,” stating that neither the cause of the spill, nor the quantity of leaked hydrocarbon could be determined at the time of the discovery.
The group noted that containment booms were deployed, adding that recovery commenced immediately around the wellhead.
This is not the first time a Nigerian energy company has reported an extremely high order oil spill from its facility this year.
Earlier in 2021, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, a unit of Italy’s Eni, closed one of its oil facilities in the Niger Delta following an oil spillage.
The cause of the leakage was attributed to equipment failure due to a rupture at the wellhead, according to the Joint Investigative Visit report on the incident.
The Niger Delta has suffered from years of significant oil spillage due to regional oil exploration, with the resultant effect being a devastating impact on local communities and the environment.
The spills have triggered social unrest and militancy across the Delta region. As tensions between multinational oil corporations and local communities continue to build, these tensions have resulted in cleanup initiatives in the region.