Indigenous oil and gas firm, Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited, has attributed the oil spill from its wellhead in the Niger Delta region to the sabotage of its facilities in the affected area.
An oil spill incident occurred on June 15, 2022, from Cawthorne Channel Well 15 Wellhead in one of the firm’s areas of operation.
CAWC015L/S is a dual string well that started production in May 1977.
“The incident is attributed to sabotage from unknown persons, as the short string has been shut-in since 1988 due to high gas oil ratio, while the long string watered out and quit in 1991,” the company said in a statement issued by its Head External Affairs and Corporate Communications, Mercy Max-Ebibai.
She said a preliminary joint investigative visit found that the entire valves on the christmas tree wellhead accessories such as the control valves, tree caps, etc, were removed.
“The vandals also removed the Well platform and gangway making it more complicated to intervene on the flowing well,” the spokesperson stated.
She added, “The removal of the platform means our technicians have nothing to stand on in attempting to control the unplanned flow as the well is standing at about 30feet above sea level.
“On inspection by our team of engineers and service contractors (marred by poor visibility from crude flow and height), it was observed that the crude oil leak is most likely from three points: the well christmas tree cap, swab and wing valves, which were carted away by the vandals.”
Eroton also confirmed that all regulatory obligations had been adhered to with the relevant authorities duly notified within the allowed window.
It stated that despite challenges such as tidal change, oil spill containment activities had continued in earnest.