Lagos, Nigeria | – Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture, has said that the suspected oil spill that sparked protest from the youths of its host community was not from any of its facility.
The Manager, Media and Communication, ExxonMobil, Ogechukwu Udeagha, offered the explanation yesterday, while responding to questions from reporters.
“Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture, observed intermittent patches of an oil based substance along the shoreline of Ibeno beach 1.2 to 15.7 kilometres east of the Qua Iboe Terminal on the evening of April 11, 2015.
“Internal investigations and results of fingerprint analysis of samples taken from the site indicate that the oiling is not from any of the onshore or offshore facilities of the NNPC/MPN JV. All facilities have been operating normally.
“There is an indication that the substance was placed by mechanical or human means, as evidence shows that it was not carried by water or connected to production operations,” he said.
The oil giant, he said, will continue to work with the relevant Nigerian authorities to investigate the possible source as relevant community, government and regulatory agencies have been duly notified.
Udeagha stressed the commitment of MPN to continuously maintain high safety, health and environmental standards in its operations as well as its commitment to the well-being of the neighbouring communities.
It could be recalled that youths from the host and neighbouring communities where MPN facilities are located, Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State, had last week protested over alleged fresh oil spill from the facility of MPN being a subsidiary of the American oil giant, ExxonMobil.
Although MPN said it observed the oil substance on the water, the youths numbering about 1,000 had said the latest spill occurred April 19, 2015 at a facility suspected to be owned by MPN at Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT), Ibeno.
The spill was said to have completely paralysed fishing operation in the environment as the fishermen stayed away from the sea, causing hardship for the people.