Publish date: 2022-07-12 23:32:33 | Author: Henry Falaye | Source: punchng.com
Following a recent oil spill incident in Cawthorne Channel Wellhead 15 barely a month ago, Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited has confirmed that a second wellhead in its oil mining acreage has suffered another incident suspected to be third-party interference.
With regard to an earlier reported incident, this recent spill also occurred in the Cawthorne Channel field, wellhead 047 Long string (CAWC047L). The CAWC-047 wild oil spill was observed in the morning hours of Saturday July 10, 2022.
According to a statement, the CAWC047L/S was a dual string well. The Long String arm had a shut-in in April 2020 due to flowline vandalisation and in July 2020. The Short String arm also had a shut-in for the same reasons. A distant look at the well showed the absence of some wellhead valves on the body of the Xmas tree.
While speaking on behalf of Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited, the Head of External Affairs and Corporate Communications, Mercy Max-Ebibai, confirmed the incident, stating that the spill was observed at about 07 45hrs coming from the wing valve arm of the CAWC047L, which appeared to have been vandalised alongside the valves and control panels, among others.
“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 vandalized Christmas tree containment valves of the wellhead.”
However, she further confirmed that despite the high-pressure emission of crude, the Eroton emergency response team had been working around the clock to abate the situation.
The statement added, “A quick intervention initiated for a shut-in of the well through the master valve was aborted because the master valve appeared to have been compromised in a stuck position.
The control line of the emergency downhole safety valve was also reported to be compromised, consequently affecting the activation, and functioning of the emergency downhole safety system.
“Efforts were in progress to rectify all the faulty valves on the Christmas tree, which were found stuck in a closed position. A first response has also been activated for containment and recovery.
“Due to the administrative challenges occasioned by the public holidays, statutory notification to regulators can only be accomplished by Wednesday, July 13, 2022. An electronic incident notification had however been sent to the relevant regulators in the interim, she further said, noting that wild well control experts were expected to visit the site tomorrow to have an assessment of the current situation and design a solution to keep the well under control.”
Eroton, which has just mobilised oil spill control vendors to the previous oil spill site at CAWC15, joins a long list of operators complaining of the anti-economic activities and sabotage by vandals and oil thieves with recent reports from the industry regulator, NUPRC, confirming the activities of oil thieves in Q1 of year 2022 alone amounting to $1bn.