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Nigerian govt claims vessels, aircraft deployed to contain oil spill at TotalEnergies facility

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The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has revealed that five vessels and an aeroplane were sent to limit the oil leak from the TotalEnergies-operated Egina facility.

The spills agency claims that the oil leak on November 15 was contained by using reaction aircraft and vessels to deploy dispersants, which prevented the spill from damaging the shoreline.

Mr Idris Musa, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of NOSDRA, gave the oil spill response update while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bayelsa on Saturday.

Dispersants are chemicals used in mopping up crude oil spills which break down oil molecules.

Musa explained that the agency promptly deployed its personnel to the spill site which is a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel in the Atlantic Ocean, located about 130 kilometres off Rivers/Akwa Ibom coastline.

According to him, the spill was caused by an operational mishap due to an export hose failure.

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He explained that the prompt response of the operator resulted in identification and stoppage of the leak, thereby containing the spilled crude from further spreading and damaging the environment.

Musa said: ‘’The Agency received the report of a crude oil spill incident from TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria PLC which occurred from the company’s Egina Floating Production Storage and Offload (FP$O) facility.

“The spill is as a result of export hose snap on Nov. 15 at 06:27 hrs; the facility is located deep offshore at a distance of 130km from the shoreline, and ultra deep-water depth of 1150 m.

‘’The report of the incident complies with extant laws and regulations.’’

Musa claimed that under the agency’s efficient direction and supervision, the FPSO operator promptly activated all necessary resources and started reaction operations.

The director-general stated that since the incident was reported, the agency’s staff and other members of the response team have conducted twice-daily aerial surveillance to monitor the status of response efforts.

“Following a request from TotalEnergies, we facilitated entry into Nigeria, a Borba dispersant application aircraft and six expatriates from Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) Southampton, UK, to hasten response activities.

“The support results from the approval from relevant government agencies as contained in the Nation & Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) have been remarkable.’’

On the spill response operations, Musa said that TotalEnergies and the agency’s team departed to the site on Nov. 18, with 15,000 litres of dispersant COREXIT 9500 for spraying.

He explained that the aircraft did three runs, spraying 10,500 litres of the dispersant on the affected areas while five vessels continued with mechanical agitation to breakdown the slick and carry out in-vessel spraying of dispersant.

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