ABUJA (Reuters) – An oil spill in Nigeria’s Delta region that has been spewing for more than two weeks will be “speedily addressed,” President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement on Wednesday.
Nigerian oil firm Aiteo Eastern E&P reported the spill on Nov. 5 in the Nembe area of Bayelsa state in Nigeria’s Delta, one of the most polluted places on earth after decades of spills that have hurt farming and fishing.
Videos shared with Reuters last week showed oil gushing from the wellhead. On Wednesday, locals said the spill continued.
Buhari’s minister of state for petroleum, Timipre Sylva, led a high-level delegation that visited the site on Wednesday.
Sylva, in the statement issued by Buhari’s office, said relevant agencies had been deployed in the area to tackle the spill and that he was working to ensure that there were no problems between Aiteo and the community. In a statement on Nov. 20, Aiteo said it had contracted well control specialists Boots & Coots, a Halliburton subsidiary, to get the spill in check.
The company initially said the leak was “of an extremely high order” and that efforts to reach the site were aborted due to the high pressure of the leak.
(Reporting By Felix Onuah in Abuja; Additional reporting by Tife Owolabi; Writing by Libby George;Editing by Leslie Adler)