Fishermen in Ibeno, Southern Akwa Ibom, said they haveÂ reported the discharge of liquid suspected to be crude oil at the Qua Iboe oil fields in the Atlantic Ocean. Chief Inyang Ekong, the Secretary of the Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria in Akwa Ibom disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom.
Ekong said that some fishermen noticed the discharge near the offshore oil production platforms operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria, an affiliate of the U.S. oil firm, ExxonMobil.
â€œWe got reports of crude floating on the waters in the high seas at the weekend and verified the report before contacting the Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and Mobil officials. By Monday, the oil spill had landed on the coastline. Officials of the company and the Agency, had come to see the site, our fishermen that came back from the sea had their nets and fishing gear contaminated by crude oil,â€ Ekong said.
Mr Irvin Obot, the Zonal Director of NOSDRA, confirmed that the agency had received reports of the oil spill incident at the Qua Iboe oil fields. â€œWe got a report from the community and visited the site; there were traces of crude oil on the shoreline but we are yet to get a report from the operator of the oil fields,â€™â€™ Obot said. An earlier spill contaminated the Atlantic shoreline at Ibeno on June 21, 2010, compelling the neighbouring fishing communities to suspend activities.Â Also, it was learnt that communities near the Qua Iboe oil fields encountered oil spills on Dec. 4, 2009, March 24, May 1, June 20, June 21 and July 18, 2010.
NAN also reported that efforts to get a response from officials of Mobil Producing Nigeria at the Qua Iboe oil export terminal in Akwa Ibom were unsuccessful as public affairs sources declined comments when contacted..
A source told NAN that Mobil runs the 960,000 barrels per day capacity crude oil export terminal off Akwa Ibom shoreline at Ibeno in joint venture with NNPC,