Update on SNEPCo response to Bonga oil leak, offshore Nigeria: oil sheen remains offshore and has thinned; source of leak found.
Dec 22, 2011
Our analysis indicates that the leak from our Bonga offshore facility remains offshore and is thinning and breaking up, based on a combination of satellite pictures, photos from aerial surveillance, infra-red cameras and direct observations from vessels.
Following investigation by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), we can also confirm that a leak did indeed occur in a flexible export line linking the Floating Production Storage and Offtake Vessel (FPSO) to the tanker. We isolated this line two days ago, and the facility remains shut down.
Shell’s country chair in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, said:
"Since Tuesday, when we became aware of this regrettable leak at our Bonga offshore facility, substantial progress has been made in mitigating the consequences. The sheen has thinned considerably due to a combination of natural factors and dispersant application, and in places is breaking up, all of which should aid further dissipation. Another significant development is that this afternoon we identified the source of the leak as a failure in a flexible export line. Let me express my heartfelt thanks to industry colleagues and government agencies for their ongoing support to mitigate the impact of the leak."
We continue our efforts to protect the coastline and have a sizable mitigation operation underway to protect sensitive areas. Five ships have been deployed to apply dispersant and maintain constant surveillance, and will be supported tomorrow in daylight by two aircraft, one of which was in the field today on spill surveillance duty. More equipment and vessels are being mobilized. We have brought in additional oil spill response experts and marine life experts to assist in the overall effort.
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