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Regulator’s Oil Spill Claim Was Made in Error, Says SPDC

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has dismissed that 45,000 barrels of oil were spilled in a March 2020 incident at its facility in Nun River, Angama, Bayelsa.

“The outcome of the government regulator-led Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) into the spill incident of 27th March 2020 was published in a report that is available on the publicly accessible SPDC spill website and the volume of oil spilled from the regrettable operational incident was 43 barrels,” SPDC’s Media Relations Manager, Bamidele Odugbesan, said in a statement on Monday.

According to Odugbesan, the spill JIV report, including photographs of those conducted on March 28, 2020, was signed off by the regulator, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and representatives of the community, representatives of the Bayelsa State Government and SPDC.

Responding to an enquiry on its Twitter handle, NOSDRA had erroneously said 45,000 barrels of oil were spilled from the wellhead leak, but the agency admitted the error in a subsequent Tweet where it claimed that the actual volume of oil spilled should be 45 barrels, even though the official report of the investigation into the incident stated that 43 barrels were spilled.

Explaining how the incident was managed, Odugbesan said, “No spill is acceptable to us and we work hard to prevent spills from occurring in our operations. Immediately the incident was reported on March 27 2020, we took promptly steps to stop the spill and contain the spread within the SPDC JV wellhead slot right of way. The recovery of the spilled oil was completed on April 5 2020.”

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