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Mobil visits oil spill site in Akwa Ibom

15 August 2012, 14:13

Akwa Ibom - Officials of National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) and representatives of Ibeno community on Wednesday, visited the spill site on the Atlantic coastline.

The Joint Investigation Visit (JIV), a statutory oil spill probe procedure, also involved officials of Akwa Ibom Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources.

Mobil Producing, an affiliate of U.S. oil firm, ExxonMobil, had in a statement reported that oil deposit was noticed on the Atlantic coastline within its Qua Iboe oil fields.

The team conducted a surveillance of the shoreline up to 20 kilometres into Atia and Itioesek settlements affected by the spill.

The oil firm, however, said that the source of the spill on the shoreline was unknown, a development that compelled the joint visit.

The team visited several communities and fishing settlements where deposits of the oily substance dotted the coastline.

Fishermen at the fishing settlements said that the oil spill was noticed on the high sea last week and spread to the shores on Monday.

``We started noticing the oil in the sea on Saturday because it contaminated our nets and frustrated our fishing trips and from the deposits on the shoreline, the oil is still coming out.

``They should find out where the oil is leaking from and isolate it to save the marine environment that we depend on,” John Etim, a fisherman said.

Also, Chief Ukott Esenem, the Village Head of Atia, one of the impacted sites, urged Mobil to urgently clean up the polluted shoreline to avoid public health hazard to the fishing community.

``We are getting worried that since Monday they have not started to clean up the oil and the waves keep washing it onshore to further contaminate the waters.

``Due to the spills, the fishes have emigrated from the reach of the local fishermen who used to fish near the coastline.

``The spill has yet brought hardship to us here,” Esenem said.



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