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Residents report fresh oil leak from Aiteo’s OML 29 in Nembe, Bayelsa

Barely four months after the November 5 oil spill at Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 at Nembe, Bayelsa, a fresh oil leak has been reported by residents.

OML 29, which includes the 97 kilometer Nembe Creek Trunk Line connecting oilfields to the Bonny Export Terminal is operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company.

Aiteo, an indigenous oil firm acquired the OML 29 asset for $2.4 billion following divestment by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 2015.

It was learnt that the leak which originated from a ruptured pipeline from Nembe Flow Station 4 near Ogbolomabiri area has been discharging crude into the Nembe creeks.

James Karibo a fisherman who operates in Nembe Creeks bemoaned the incident which is coming barely three months after an earlier leak from the facility which lasted for 32 days before it was plugged.

“It is sad news for us who depend on fishing in the creeks. We have not even recovered from the losses from the last spill which contaminated the waters and destroyed our fishing nets. We are in distress and cannot fish in oil contaminated waters,” he lamented.

Chief Ebinabo Waribo, of Malabo in Opu-Nembe who confirmed the incident, regretted that the oil firm was yet to commence response.

“This is a major spill at ‘Nembe 4’ through the delivery line for several weeks now and Aiteo has not responded yet. They have not mobilised a spill response team to site to contain and recover the spilled crude.

“The oil discharge has spread to Bassambiri and its satellite communities and adversely impacted the fishing vocation of the people,” Waribo said.

Mr. Ndianabasi Mathew, Spokesman for Aiteo Group has yet to respond to request for comments on the development.

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