Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO) has promised that the wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field in Nembe, Rivers State which blew up on November 5, would be secured in 48 hours.
The firm in a statement on Friday said its officials were closely monitoring all activities related to the affected communities in Nembe Local Government Area (LGA).
This is coming after the Federal Government on Thursday declared that it will begin the process of reviewing the National Oil Spillage Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) in order to mete out stiffer penalties to oil companies involved in oil spillage in the country.
The statement by the oil firm which was signed by its Group Managing Director Victor Okoronkwo said safety and security and HSE 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.
“Relief materials, mosquito net, hygiene, and sanitary kits, disinfectants, food materials, are being mobilised to the immediate communities impacted by the spill,” the statement read in part.
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 are expected to boost ongoing containment exercises, with booms and environmental barges already mopping up spilled crude,” Okoronkwo said.
The company explained that it commenced RU (rig up) but could not finish due to bad weather, adding that the forward plan was to complete RU and install well control package to arrest the flow.
The Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor had earlier on Thursday at the weekly ministerial press briefing in Abuja threatened to slam stricter sanctions on oil firms involved in oil spillage in the Niger Delta.
Ikeazor said she has been receiving a briefing on the spill from The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
She also called for a review of the law establishing NOSDRA so that oil companies could face stiffer penalties for pollution.