Eni, parent company of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has said a blast at its facility in Nembe, Bayelsa State, has cut oil export from its Brass Export Terminal by up to 25,000 barrels per day.
The oil major said yesterday that the incident was the second attack in a few days after an earlier incident of February 28, this year at its Obama flowstation led to production shortfalls of 5,000 barrels per day (bpd).
A statement by the management of Eni indicated that gas output of 13 million standard cubic metres per day had been deferred due to the incident.
NAOC, the Nigerian unit of the Italian energy firm, Eni, had declared Force Majeure on expected oil output at Brass terminal, gas feeds to Bonny NLNG and Okpai power plant.
Force Majeure is a legal clause in contracts, which absolves firms from legal liabilities due to circumstances beyond their control.
Eni said: “An incident occurred on the Ogoda/Brass 24 oil line, at Okparatubo in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The event was caused by a blast, consequently causing a spill.
“All wells connected to that pipeline were immediately shut down whilst river booms and containment barges were mobilised to reduce the impact of the spill.
“Regulators for inspection visit and repair teams have also been activated. State and Federal Government and security authorities were notified.”
“Deferred production is estimated at 25,000 barrel of oil per day and about 13 MSCM/d of gas. Force majeure has been declared at Brass terminal, Bonny NLNG and Okpai power plant.”
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) confirmed that Joint Investigative Visits (JIVs) on the two incidents have been conducted.
NOSDRA, however, said the field officers assigned had yet to file their reports.
The Director-General, NOSDRA, Mr Idris Musa, said the two incidents were traced to vandalism, adding that 20 barrels leaked on February 28 incident, while 1,249.8 barrels were discharged into the environment in the second incident.
Meanwhile, residents at the predominantly fishing settlements, who operate in the creeks and near the Atlantic shoreline at Nembe and Brass in Bayelsa State have lamented the adverse impact of frequent spills in the area.
The Chairman, United Fishing Union, Sangana, Mr Noel Ikonikumo, listed the oil spills to include the November 5, 2021 well blowout from Aiteo’s field in Nembe, a gas leakage at Conoil’s field at Sangana in Brass LGA also in November, this year.
He said barely three months after the November 5, last year incident from Aiteo’s field, another leak occurred in February, this year, while another two incidents occurred near Agip’s Obama flowstation in Nembe which cumulatively polluted the waters they fish in.
Ikonikumo said: “These spills have threatened our vocation and the oil companies responsible have been insensitive to the plight of fishermen who operate in their neighbourhood.
“Whenever there is a spill, our nets and other fishing gears get soaked in crude and get condemned because one can no longer use them as the smell of crude oil scares fishes away.
“We have written to the companies concerned to see reason with us and assist us but have not got any response. We are contemplating seeking redress in court.”