Exxon pipeline leaks in Nigeria

SECOND LEAK::The oil giant expressed ‘regret’ over the crude spill, calling to mind the disastrous spill in 1998 where it dumped 40,000 barrels into the sea


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - Page 15

Exxon Mobil Corp’s Nigerian unit said it shut down an oil pipeline on a facility offshore from the country’s southern state of Akwa Ibom after a leak on Friday that spilled crude into the sea.

“Emergency response personnel and equipment have been deployed,” Paul Arinze, general manager in charge of public and government affairs, said in a statement released on Saturday in Lagos.

Government and community representatives have been notified, he said.

Exxon Mobil “regrets this incident” and is “committed to maintaining high safety, health and environmental standards,” Arinze said.

Exxon Mobil, the second-largest producer in Nigeria, is the operator of a joint venture in which it holds a 40 percent stake, with state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp holding the rest.

The company is responsible for Nigeria’s worst offshore spill that dumped an estimated 40,000 barrels into the sea from its Idoho platform in January 1998.

Royal Dutch PLC Shell, Nigeria’s largest oil producer, shut its 200,000 barrel-a-day Bonga field off Nigeria in December last year after a leak during a tanker loading spilled crude estimated at less than 40,000 barrels. A US$5 billion fine was recommended for Shell by Nigeria’s oil spill agency.