Eroton Exploration and Production Limited has confirmed a leakage at its Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18 as a result of what it described as “third party interference”.
This latest incident occurred offshore at the company’s Cawthorne Channel field wellhead 047, its Head of External Affairs and Corporate Communications, Mercy Max-Ebibai, said in a statement.
It is not the first time the company is experiencing such a spill. About three weeks ago, Eroton confirmed an oil spill incident at Cawthorne channel wellhead 15 which was also attributed to a “third-party interference”.
“As was the case with the earlier reported incident, this recent spill also occurred in the Cawthorne Channel field, wellhead 047 Long string (CAWC047L),” the statement said. “The CAWC-047 wild oil spill was observed in the morning hours of Sunday, July 10, 2022.
“CAWC047L/S is a dual string well. The Long String arm was shut-in in April 2020 due to flowline vandalisation and in July 2020, the Short String arm was also shut-in for the same reasons. A distant look at the well shows the absence of some wellhead valves on the body of the XMAS Tree.”
Max-Ebibai went on to add that the spill “was observed at about 0745hrs coming from the wing valve arm of the CAWC047L, which appears to have been vandalised with the valves, control panels, bean-box, actuators all carted away”.
“The well was observed to be releasing the uncontrolled flow of hydrocarbon to the environment from the long string due to the confirmed compromised and vandalised XMAS Tree containment valves of the wellhead,” she said.
The company’s spokesman also said that in spite of the high-pressure spill, the Eroton emergency team was working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
Cawthorne Channel field is one of the production channels on OML 18 situated in eastern Niger Delta, south of Port-Harcourt on behalf of the Eroton/NNPC joint venture.