Incessant Oil Spills in Akwa Ibom Raises Concern

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Zonal Operations Controller in Port Harcourt, Mrs Onyebuchi Sibeudu, has decried the incessant oil spills from the facilities of oil multinational companies in Akwa Ibom.

Sibeudu expressed the concern over the spills in an interview with journalist in Eket, Akwa Ibom, on Sunday.

“The oil spill that occurred in Ibeno and other neighbouring local government areas on April 19 is one of the spills that we classify as mystery spill.

“We cannot trace the source of the spill. There are two of such in Ibeno and we had earlier gone there. We are planning to go there again and take a sample of the oil spill.

“The rate at which oil spilled from the facilities of oil multinational firms is worrisome. We have series of complaints of oil spill in Akwa Ibom,’’ she said.

She decried the rate at which crude oil spills occurred in the state, and said that the frequency was worrisome.

The April 19 oil spill occurred in Mkpanak community, near the Ibeno beach, and spread to the neighbouring local government areas.

Sibuedu said the department had concluded plan to carry out a fingerprint analysis, to determine the source of the oil spill.

She, however, said that the spill could not be traced to any of oil companies’ facilities yet, adding that the department would soon find out the source of the spilled crude.

“We want to take the sample and do what we call fingerprint analysis that will help us trace the origin of the crude; that is where we are now,’’ she said.

The Manager, Media and Communication, ExxonMobil, Ogechukwu Udeagha, told newsmen that the company had observed some intermittent patches of oil substance on the shoreline of Ibeno beach.

Udeagha said the company was working with the relevant authorities to investigate the possible source.

He said that immediately the spill occurred, the company dispatched an emergency response team to the shoreline to collect samples of the substance for an analysis to determine its source.

The manager said the oil firm had notified the affected community and relevant regulatory agencies in the state on the matter.

He said ExxonMobil was committed to maintaining safe and healthy environmental standards in its operations as well as ensuring the well-being of its host and neighbouring communities.

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