TotalEnergies working with Nigerian authorities to contain pollution in the wake of offshore oil spill
French energy giant TotalEnergies has joined forces with several Nigerian organizations, including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to address and manage the potential impacts of a crude oil spill that took place during loading operations at a field in the OML 130 production license offshore Nigeria.
According to NIMASA, the crude oil spill incident occurred during loading operations on TotalEnergies’ Egina field on November 15, 2023, at about 6:30 a.m. Due to this incident, the Nigerian regulator is working closely with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) from the Crisis Management Room (CMR), where the spill is being monitored in real-time, using oil spill monitoring software from the Emergency Response Center.
Dr Bashir Jamoh OFR, Director General of NIMASA, commented: “Since the incident happened, our men have been liaising with other organs of government to ensure the pollution is effectively controlled and managed, to protect the marine environment and the communities close to the incident point. Accidents do happen, it’s what we do thereafter that matters, and I believe that the IOC Total, working with NIMASA, NUPRC, NOSDRA and collaborating with international service providers, will surely ensure proper management of the spill.”
Furthermore, Total Energies is providing aerial surveillance, and dispersant application, while further mobilization is being considered. The volume of oil spilled is not yet confirmed, however, NIMASA highlights that a reconnaissance survey of the impacted area shows the shoreline communities of Andoni, Qua-Iboe terminals, Bonny Island, Opobo/Nkoro, and Eastern Obolo, which are closest to Egina, are not affected so far.
The Oil Spill Response Limited from the United Kingdom is also assisting with pollution control measures. NIMASA’s Director General underlines that the agency is working in tandem with all stakeholders to control pollution and put in place measures to prevent such occurrences in the future, in line with provisions of the MARPOL Convention.
TotalEnergies secured a 20-year renewal in May 2023 of the OML 130 production license, which is located 150 kilometers off the Nigerian coast and contains the Akpo and Egina fields, which came into production in 2009 and 2018, respectively. TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited operates OML 130 with a 24% interest, in partnership with CNOOC (45%), Sapetro (15%), Prime 130 (16%), and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd as the concessionaire of the PSC.
Currently, the French oil major is in the process of drilling the first of three wells on the Akpo West field with one of Noble Corporation’s drillships. Upon completion, these wells will be tied into the FPSO Akpo, and the production start-up from this short-cycle project is expected by the end of 2023.
The FEED studies, which are expected to take place through the fourth quarter of 2023, could facilitate the final investment decision for the Preowei oil discovery development project, which is located to the north of the FPSO Egina, and anticipated to be brought online via a satellite subsea tie-back project to the FPSO.