An oil and gas well in southern Nigeria is still spewing its contents at least 14 days after it first blew, causing growing anxiety among the local communities that rely on the surrounding land and waterways.
The world’s oil and gas markets have been all but unaffected by the incident because the well in question had been capped and wasn’t producing. But community leaders are increasingly worried about its impact on people’s livelihoods.
A not-much-reported, 2-week-old oil spill in Nigeria reminds us of what is an ongoing problem in the country. The footage, shot earlier this week, was sent to us by a local community leader. It’s still leaking.
Aiteo acquired the license from a consortium of oil majors headed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc in 2015. The sale price of $2.4 billion for the permit and a pipeline is the largest paid so far by Nigerian companies acquiring assets from their international counterparts. Spills, particularly from pipelines, are common in Africa’s largest oil producer.
Experts are now ready to start the work of sealing the well so that the cause and scale of the leak can be determined, Idris Musa, director general of Nigeria’s National Oil Spill Detection and Reponse Agency, said by text message. A spokesman for Aiteo declined to comment.