The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has reiterated its commitment in tackling oil spills in the Nigerian oil and gas sector to fulfill its regulatory mandate as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, Petroleum Act and the Petroleum (Drilling and Production) Regulations and subsidiary legislations.
Following growing concerns trailing the oil spill incident of November 3, 2021, which occurred at the Santa Barbara Well 1 operated by AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company in Bassambiri, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the Commission promised to continue monitoring the site situation and guide the operator until the spill and its attendant problems were completely addressed.
The Chief Executive of NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Ko-molafe, explained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday that the commission’s efforts in preventing the situation from degenerating any further include, but not limited to implementing all effective physical and engineering solutions to the incident, managing the safety of the response providers and people in the neighbouring communities and educating the general public on the site situation periodically. He said: “In specific terms, the Commission will ensure that the pressure from the well is stopped to put an end to the oil release, the already released oil is appropriately contained and skimmed off as it is being released, a joint investigation visit (JIV) is conducted as soon as it is safe to do so, cleanup and restorative actions are done immediately after the spill is stopped and compensation paid to affected communities timeously and in accordance with the law.