…SPDC, Aiteo account for 63% of total spills; N522m lost
Oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria spilled 28,349.72 barrels of crude oil into the environment between January and December 2019, according to data obtained from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA.
A barrel of crude oil is equal to 158.99 litres of the commodity, meaning that at 28,349.72 barrels, 4.507 million litres of crude oil was spilled into the environment in 2019, with the attendant environmental challenges.
In monetary terms, using an average crude oil price of $60 per barrel in 2019 and average exchange rate of N307 to a dollar in the same period, spilling 28,349.72 barrels of crude oil, translates to a direct loss of N522.2 million to the Nigerian economy.
NOSDRA, in its oil spill monitor, indicted Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and Aiteo Exploration and Production Company as the biggest spillers of crude oil in the period under review.
Specifically, the NOSDRA Oil Spill Monitor revealed that SPDC spilled 10,397.53 barrels of crude oil in 131 oil spill incidents, while Aiteo spilled 7,550.73 barrels into the Nigerian environment in nine incidents, representing 36.68 per cent and 26.63 per cent of the total volume of crude oil spilled in 2019.
The report further stated that Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, accounted for 14.01 per cent of total oil spilled in 2019, with 3,972.39 barrels in 132 incidents, while Heritage Energy Operational Service Limited, accounted for 12.3 per cent of total oil spills, with 3,514.26 barrels of oil spilled from its facilities in 2019.
According to the report, Niger Delta Western spilled 1,880 barrels of crude oil; First Hydrocarbon Nigeria 425.07 barrels; Eroton Exploration and Production Limited 256.67 barrels, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, 201.0 barrels; Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC,51 barrels; Seplat Petroleum Development Company, 7.02 barrels; Total Exploration and Production 32.51 barrels and Chevron Nigeria Limited 26.13 barrels.
Other companies that spilled crude oil in the period, included Neconde Energy Limited 10 barrels in one incident; Sahara Energy Fields Limited, eight barrels of crude oil in one incident; Engaged Resources Limited 9.13 barrels in three incidents; Midwestern Oil and Gas 7.30 barrels in two incidents; while Mobil Producing Nigeria and Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited spilled 0.96 barrels and 0.06 barrels from their facilities respectively.
Already, the country had started recording crude oil spills in 2020, as the NOSDRA monitor disclosed that Chevron, NAOC, Seplat and SPDC recorded oil spills of 0.00 barrels in one incident; 122.66 barrels in four incidents; 35.13 barrels in two incidents and 44.92 barrels in six incidents respectively.