Fresh oil spill hits Atlantic coastline in Akwa Ibom

Tony Nyong

29 August 2012, Sweetcrude, UYO—TEN days after the oil spill at Qua Iboe fields operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, MPN, more oil has been sighted on the Atlantic coastline at Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State.

Fishermen and residents of coastal communities at Ibeno and Esit Eket Local Government Areas of the state, who noticed the oil spills on the shoreline, reported the development to the oil spill agency.

An official of National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, said the agency got the report of fresh oil spill on the shores.

He said: “As soon as we got the report we deployed personnel to the site, though we are still investigating the earlier incident of August 13. I understand they saw tar balls at the coast.

“As we speak, our men are still in the field and their findings will help us to know the nature and extent of the deposits.”
Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, MPN, has maintained a studied silence over its claimed investigation into the source of the oil spill found within its operational area on August 13.

When contacted for comments on the development, the company’s spokesman, Nigel Cookey-Gam, said he was not aware of the fresh spill.
Chief Okon Owon, a community leader in Mkpanak community in Ibeno, berated the oil firm for alleged poor handling of oil spill matters.

He said: “For over one week, Mobil officials claimed they were investigating the source of the spill and till this moment, they have continued in their culture of negligence and silence.

“Why will it take such a long time to conduct the test and match the samples found in the beach? They have taken us for granted for too long.”

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  • Considering the frequency of occurrence of these oil spills it becomes abundantly clear that the regulatory authorities and the security agencies have either failed woefully, completely run out of ideas as to how to stem it or are simply in cahoot with the brains behind the incidence of oil theft. We just don’t know what to believe anymore.