Canadian Platform Spills 3,200 Gallons Of Oil-Mix Into Atlantic

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output


An oil platform off the Canadian Island of Newfoundland spilled nearly 3,200 gallons of an oil-water mix into the Atlantic Ocean, and efforts were underway to minimize the environmental impact, ExxonMobil said Thursday.

The spill occurred a day earlier during “routine activities related to removing water” from a platform storage cell, the American oil giant said earlier.

“The estimated volume of oil released from the Hibernia platform was 75 barrels of oil, equivalent to approximately 12,000 liters (3,170 gallons),” according to aerial surveillance, the Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) said in a statement released by ExxonMobil.

That area of the North Atlantic is rich in marine life, including species of whales, but HMDC said “no wildlife has been observed in the area” by specialists who were sent out.

“We’re disappointed the discharge occurred, but we are working diligently to minimize impacts on the environment,” the statement quoted Scott Sandlin, HMDC’s president, as saying.

On Wednesday the company said it temporarily shut the oil platform after discovering the oil-water spill into the ocean.

It was using a range of clean-up measures including a boom-type system deployed over the side of a vessel, assisted by a skimmer.

HMDC said it was monitoring a sheen on the ocean surface with an approximate radius of three nautical miles (3.5 miles, 5.6 kilometers), about 204 miles east of St John’s Newfoundland.

“Vessels have been tasked with monitoring and clean-up of the sheen and requests that all mariners keep a 10 nautical mile berth from this area,” it said.

Hibernia — which opened for production in 1997 and is located about 196 miles east of St John’s — is jointly owned by Chevron, Suncor and Equinor (formerly Statoil) in addition to ExxonMobil, which holds the majority share.

The oil deposit below Hibernia — accessed via underwater drilling — is estimated to contain more than 1.2 billion barrels of oil.

NNPC Considers Swap Deal With Shell, ExxonMobil

NNPC To Recover Missing Petrol Worth Over 130m Litres


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is considering a crude-for-product deal with Shell and ExxonMobil.

NNPC Chief Operating Officer (Upstream), Mr Bello Rabiu, disclosed this Tuesday on the sidelines of an African Oil and Gas conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

Mr Rabiu explained that Shell and ExxonMobil which left Nigeria’s downstream sector a few years back were returning for the arrangement because of the opportunity to get crude and sell their products to the refineries.

The NNPC imports about 70 per cent of the nation’s fuel needs, via swap contracts.

The corporation has contracts known as Direct Sale Direct Purchase Agreements, with 10 consortiums, including trading houses Vitol, Trafigura, Mercuria and Total.

ExxonMobil Workers Go On Strike

exxonWorkers of ExxonMobil affiliate, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, have started a three-day warning strike.

The workers are among several issues accusing the company of violating the provisions of the Local Content Act and firing Nigerian workers.

They are also accusing it of violating previous agreements it reached with their union, the Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria.

Should the company fail to address their grievances, the workers warned that they would start an indefinite strike on Monday.

The relationship between the workers and the company have been frosting for a while with a dispute over their welfare grabbing the headlines less than five months ago.

In December 2016, they had shut down activities at the company’s Qua Iboe Terminal to protest against its decision to fire up to 100 workers.

Gunmen Kidnap Two Expatriates, Nigerian In Akwa Ibom

Gunmen Kidnap Two Expatriates, Nigerian In Akwa IbomTwo expatriates and a Nigerian, one Dr. Idongesit Udom, have been reportedly kidnapped in Akwa Ibom State.

The expatriates, who work for an unnamed construction company in the state, were said to have been forcefully taken away by gunmen from a hotel room in Eket on Sunday evening.

Dr. Udom, a retired ExxonMobil staff and the Proprietor of Sure Foundation Polytechnic, was also kidnapped the same day while worshipping in a church.

Spokesman for the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Mr Chukwu Okechukwu, said that the Police had commenced investigation into the incidents.

He added that the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Donald Awunah, has also led a team of senior police officers to Eket over the matter.

Mr Okechukwu, however, said the Police had no information on the identities, workplace and nationalities of the expatriates.

According to him, the Command is also working hard to ensure the release of Dr. Udom, a native of Idung Nneke village in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Shell controls Nembe oil spill, locals dispute claim

Shell said on Friday it had contained oil leaked from a failed pump within a flow station on Nigeria’s Nembe Creek though local residents disputed this, saying it had spread to mangrove swamps.

“There was no oil spill, and there was no impact on the environment,” said Precious Okolobo, spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), a joint venture majority owned by the state oil firm.

“The pump was immediately shut down. However, some oil escaped from the seal into the saver pit in the flow station, with some sheen observed,” he said.

A Reuters reporter on the scene saw spilled oil, some of it lapping against the roots of mangroves, but Nigerian Naval officers barred access to an area behind the flow station where locals reported a large oil slick.

“We observed a crude oil slick and sheen along the creek and, it continued into the Brass River,” said Alabo Nengi James, an official in the Ewelesuo community of the Nembe Kingdom.

“Shell has not done any containment; no such signs at all.”

Oil spills from equipment failures or loading accidents are common in the swampy Niger Delta region of Africa’s top energy producer.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major says locals sometimes exaggerate the impact in the hope of boosting their compensation claims.

Armed gangs also tamper with pipelines to steal crude and Shell’s Nembe Creek trunk line has been subject to numerous spills in recent years, many due to sabotage.

A landmark U.N. report in August last year slammed the government and multinational oil companies, particularly Shell, for 50 years of oil pollution that has devastated the Ogoni land region of the Niger Delta.

The government and oil firms have pledged to clean up the region and other parts of the Delta, but residents say they have seen very little action.

ExxonMobil’s Nigeria unit said on Wednesday it was investigating an oil spill near its facility off the country’s southeast coast, but has yet to give an assessment of it.

“We’ve discovered a serious crude oil slick,” explained Alagoa Morries, Project Officer for Environmental Rights Action/ERA in an exclusive interview with BattaBox.

“We cannot ascertain the volume of spill but the leaves, the vegetation, fish traps all around were all soiled by crude oil,” he said.

The spill is reported to have occurred at Shell Nembe 3 flow-station at 4am on August 15.

As ERA approached the flow-station in their boat, Alagoa described how a naval Officer pointed a machine gun at his team and refused to allow them to take any photos.

After telling the Naval Officer the purpose of their visit, Alagoa claims the Officer denied there was any oil spill… despite very thick crude oil slick surrounding his boat.

The spill comes after Amnesty International described Shell’s oil spill investigations “a fiasco.”



Naira gains against the dollar

The Naira rose marginally against the US Dollar on the interbank market and at the bi-weekly foreign exchange auction today, after dollar sales by three energy companies.

The Naira appreciated to N157.65 to the dollar after units of oil majors, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil sold around $240 million to some lenders, boosting dollar liquidity in the market and providing support for the local currency.

Meanwhile the Central bank sold $100 million at N155.90 to the dollar.