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Aiteo Confirms Resumption Of Production At Nembe Oilfield After Leak

Production at Aiteo’s Nembe Oilfield has restarted post-oil leak, with enhanced safety protocols and continued spill management.

Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO), operator of the NNPC/Aiteo Joint Venture on Oil Mining Licence (OML) 29, on Saturday confirmed the resumption of production, days after it said there had been an oil leak on its Nembe Oilfield asset in Bayelsa State.

This development has raised prospects of Nigeria meeting her OPEC quota.

In a statement, the indigenous oil firm said that the resumption followed the completion of the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to the spill site by all stakeholders as required by the regulations.

“AEEPCO will reopen its facilities for production while continuing other statutory spill management protocols concurrently,” the company said.

Consequently, AEEPCO’s Group Managing Director, Victor Okoronkwo, in the update, stated that a comprehensive assessment of its operations and assets on the oilfield had been conducted.

“After a comprehensive evaluation of our operations and infrastructure at the Nembe swamp field, we are delighted to confirm the resumption of production activities.

“Our dedicated team has worked diligently to address the issues caused by the recent incident and implemented enhanced safety protocols to prevent future occurrences.

“We have engaged with regulatory bodies, local communities, and stakeholders to ensure transparency and accountability throughout this process,” the statement added.

Following persistent vandalism and theft on the oil export line, Aiteo had resorted to using barges to convey crude from the Nembe fields.

The barges are used to transport crude from onshore oil wells to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel from which the company exports the Nembe crude blend to crude oil tankers.

Nigeria’s aspiration of increasing its oil production had suffered a setback after Aiteo, one of the country’s biggest hydrocarbons producers, announced the shutdown of the Niger Delta oilfield.

It was unclear how many barrels of oil the asset was producing at the time of the incident, but OML 29 could deliver as much as 160,000 barrels of oil per day.

It was a major drawback for Nigeria which gets over 80 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings from the export of crude oil and is therefore highly negatively impacted by falling crude oil production.

The country which has struggled to raise output for years, has blamed oil theft, massive oil assets vandalism, deteriorating infrastructure in the country’s Niger Delta as well as years of underinvestment for its persistent inability to increase production significantly.

A THISDAY review of the latest data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) showed that Nigeria produced 1.42 million bpd of oil in January; 1.32 million bpd in February; 1.23 million bpd in March; 1.28 million bpd in April and 1.25 million bpd in May this year.

This is against the 1.58 million bpd reviewed Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota for Nigeria this year.

Emmanuel Addeh

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