Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited has confirmed an uncontrolled flow of hydrocarbons with wildfire into the environment.
The incident occurred in wells AKOS004L/S and AKOS014L/S of the Akaso field in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State and was observed by members of the community on October 1, 2022.
AKOS004 was completed as a dual string well and came on stream in May 1994. It was subsequently shut-in December 2020 for well integrity repairs. AKOS014L/S on the other hand came on stream in 2005 and was also completed as a dual string which was quit in August 2018, and subsequently followed by vandalization of the wellhead accessories by third-parties.
In a statement released by the company, Mercy Max-Ebibai, company spokesperson confirmed the incident stating: “These wells were observed to be releasing uncontrolled flow of hydrocarbon into the environment with wildfire due to the suspected compromise and vandalization of XMAS Tree containment valves of the wellheads, presumed to be from illegal bunkering activities.
“This is the fourth incident of confirmed and suspected sabotage and vandalism in the last three months experienced by Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited and it is snowballing into an existential treat to the company.
“The AKOS004L/S and AKOS014L/S flow was discovered to be coming out from the short string flow arm of both wells. A cursory look at the wells from a distance shows the absence of some wellhead valves on the body of the XMAS TREE.”
She further confirmed that Eroton had duly informed the requisite regulators including NUPRC, RSMEnv, NOSDRA and their host community through the designated Cluster Board of the incident accordingly
and the Eroton Emergency Response Team have been working around the clock to abate the situation. The company spokesperson also intimated that a Joint Investigative Visit with key stakeholders and members of the press was being planned in earnest.