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President Buhari laments oil spill in Bayelsa

… says problem will be speedily addressed

Minister of state petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, on Wednesday undertook an on-the-spot assessment of the oil spill site of Aiteo Eastern Exploration Company in Basambri, Bayelsa State.

The minister, who was joined on the inspection by Gbenga Komolafe, CEO of Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), the traditional ruler of Opu-Nembe Kingdom – King Biobelemoye Josiah, Israel Adi, member of House of Representatives representing Brass/Nembe Constituency, said “Mr President is very concerned about the spill that is why he sent me to come and have on the spot assessment of the situation. He feels the pains of the people and wants urgent steps taken to address the problem.”

He noted that the spill was a serious environmental concern that needed urgent measures to contain, noting that no stone would be unturned in dealing with the environmental problem.

“So much damage has been done to the environment in the Niger Delta region and the government is very much concerned about this situation and would not allow further degradation of the environment that why the government will take urgent measures to tackle the situation,” he said.

Read Also: Nembe oil spill: FG asks AITEO to halt operation in Bayelsa

The minister disclosed that the relevant agencies had already been deployed in the area to tackle the oil spill, adding, “We will need to bring in supports to help us clean up the spill.”

Addressing the Basambri community after inspecting the spill site, he said it was important for him to come to see things for himself to ensure that there was no problem between the oil company and the community.

He expressed the President’s regrets over the spill and noted that “President Buhari will ensure that the situation is immediately remediated”.

Addressing the community, Komolafe said they were in Basambri on the instruction of the President to see things for themselves.

He noted that as regulators in the upstream sector of the economy the Commission would ensure that the operators operate within acceptable international standards that would impact positively on the lives of the people in the oil producing community!

Aiteo on November 5 reported a major oil leak from its Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29, in Nembe, Bayelsa.

Aiteo acquired the OML 29 following the 2015 divestment by Shell. The well was acquired for $2.4 billion and consists of the 97km Nembe Creek trunk line that evacuates crude from onshore oil wells within the oil bloc and other operators to Bonny Export Terminal.

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