Chevron begins drilling well to extinguish fire

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Chevron Nigeria

Chevron Nigeria

According to the company, the relief well is being drilled to extinguish a fire that began January 16 at the original well, approximately six miles (10 km) off the coast of Nigeria.

The company’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Engineer Femi Odumabo, said the drilling plans will enable the cementing and abandonment of the Funiwa 1A well, adding that the  relief well is being drilled by the Transocean Baltic rig with approvals from Nigerian authorities.

“CNL shares the concerns of the people of Nigeria about this incident. We have engaged with residents of the shoreline communities to listen to their concerns, explain what has happened and demonstrate our extensive response,” said Andrew Fawthrop, chairman and managing director of Chevron’s Nigeria/Mid-Africa business unit.

Andrew said “CNL continues to conduct regular monitoring flights over the incident site and beaches. The water and shorelines have been extensively videotaped and photographed, providing recorded verification that they have not been affected. CNL employs 30 area residents to conduct daily walking inspection of 88 kilometers of shoreline.’’

According to him, sampling and testing of air, sea/river water, sediment, soil, fisheries and vegetation is being conducted to determine any impacts on the environment.

This analysis, he said, is performed by independent environmental consultant, Fugro Nigeria Limited.

He said hitherto, onshore air testing has not found any detectable levels of pollutants from the natural gas fire, saying his company also regularly monitors the air at its offshore rigs and platforms.

CNL has participated in over 15 meetings with government officials, communities, community leaders and development groups to share information and answer questions. CNL has moved supplies of food to a dozen communities in the area to recognize the help and support they have given the company, he said. This includes deployment of a medical team to conduct assessments and provide treatments as required.’’

He further said on February 16, CNL’s managing director and federal government officials flew over the incident site and beaches, and landed in the community of Koluama to speak with traditional and community leaders.

He also said the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency and the Bayelsa State Government have also participated in overflight inspections,on separate instances.

In : Energy