Following a leak which necessitated the shutdown on February 28, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) resumed normal operations on March 7.
The development has allayed fears of a major disruption of oil export on the export pipeline that evacuates up to 150,000 barrels of crude daily to the Bonny Oil Export Terminal.
Mr. Masade Odianosen, a spokesperson for Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, said that the facility “is up and running’’.
The spokesperson said the NCTL was restarted while the joint investigation of the March 1 explosion from Oil Well No.7 within Nembe Creek oilfields, a totally unrelated incident to the NCTL was in progress.
The NCTL was not in operation when the explosion from an oil well within the OML 29 oil block occurred. The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had said on Friday that it had commenced investigations into the explosion located within OML 29 operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration.
Although it had already discharged crude oil and gas into the environment, there was no loss of lives recorded, according to the company. The volume of crude oil and gas discharged into the surrounding environment arising from the explosion is yet to be ascertained.
The Director-General, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Dr. Peter Idabor, confirmed to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) had been convened by the operator. He explained that the JIV, a statutory probe of leak incidents in the oil and gas sector would determine the cause of the explosion, the volume of oil leakage as well as assess damage to the environment.
The Aiteo official said that the JIV team was yet to arrive at a conclusion on the cause of the blast. He said it “is still ongoing”.
“There appears the need for a more detailed and technical assessment to understand the primary cause of the incident prior to explosion that is more visible at moment on the riser. The investigation therefore requires further details and is still open,” Odianosen said.
Aiteo pledged that investigation into the incident was of utmost priority. It said that the explosion did not affect the 97 km Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) which was shut down on February 28 prior to the incident.