From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Thirty- eight days after it began spewing crude oil and hydrocarbon into the environment, the leaking Oil Mining Lease (OML 29) Santa Barbara south field Well 01, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has finally been contained.
According to investigations control packages have also been successfully being installed at both arms of the well.
“To the Glory of God, we have put out the leak at SBAS-1. We are grateful for the support. Successfully installed control packages on both arms,” a statement from the company said.
It said the next step is to nipple down the Christmas tree and carry out a comprehensive service on the wellhead, install the Christmas tree and secure the well.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Seriake Dickson, has called on Aiteo, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Ministry of Environment, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency and others to take immediate steps to rescue the threatened environment from total destruction and provide relief materials to the communities affected by the spill.
Dickson, in a statement, said with the scope of the pollution, there was need for the Federal Government to make a comprehensive provision to ensure the commencement of immediate measures of remediation in the affected areas.
While calling for adequate compensation for the people for damage of the environment and their source of livelihood, Dickson condemned the needless controversy over the pollution and the mischievous attempt to politicise the spill which he described as a straight forward case of pollution from the oil company.
He said what was needed was remediation efforts by all stakeholders and not an attack on the communities or the state government, adding that the Niger Delta environment has been so badly polluted.
Dickson said it was because of the rampant pollution that he constituted an international commission on environment chaired by the Anglican Archbishop of York, John Sentamu (now retired).