Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on Wednesday said the oil spill at Aiteo Eastern Exploration Company, in Basambri, Bayelsa would be speedily addressed.
The minister made this known when he undertook an on-the-spot assessment of the oil spill site of the AITEO facility in Bayelsa.
Sylva was joined on the inspection by Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and King Biobelemoye Josiah, the traditional ruler of Opu-Nembe Kingdom His Royal Highness, among others.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is very concerned about the spill that is why he sent me to have on the spot assessment of the situation.
“He feels the pains of the people and wants urgent steps taken to address the problem,” he said.
He noted that the spill was a serious environmental concern that needed urgent measures to curtail, noting that no stone would be unturned in dealing with the environmental problem.
According to him, so much damage has been done to the environment in the Niger Delta region and the government is very much concerned about the situation and will not allow further degradation of the environment.
The minister disclosed that relevant agencies had already been deployed into the area to tackle the oil spill adding that there was the need to bring in supports to help clean up the spill.
Addressing the Basambri community after inspecting the spill site, Sylva said it was important for him to come to see things for himself to ensure that there was no problem between the oil company and the community.
He expressed the President’s regrets over the spill and noted that he would ensure that the situation would be remediated.
Addressing the community, Komolafe said they were in Basambri on the instructions of the President to see things for themselves.
He noted that as regulators in the upstream sector of the economy the Commission would ensure that the operators worked within acceptable international standards to impact positively on people’s lives in the oil-producing community.
Aiteo on November 5, reported a major oil leak from its Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29, in Nembe, Bayelsa.
Aiteo acquired the OML 29 following the 2015 divestment by Shell.
The well was acquired for $2.4 billion and consist of the 97km Nembe Creek trunk line which evacuates crude from onshore oil wells within the oil bloc and other operators to Bonny Export Terminal.