Exxon Mobil Cleaning Up Oil Spill on Nigerian Coast
By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo
Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Nigerian unit said it began cleaning up part of the nation’s southeast coast after a pipeline from an offshore facility spilled at least 200 barrels of crude at the end of last week.
Exxon Mobil shut the pipeline on Nov. 10 and is investigating the cause of the spill in the state of Akwa Ibom, the company said late yesterday in a statement from Lagos, the commercial capital. Dispersants and booms are now being deployed in work involving more than 100 personnel.
The nation’s authorities don’t yet have an estimate for the amount of crude released. An aerial inspection will be carried out before an estimate on volumes is made, Peter Idabor, director-general of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, said today by phone from Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
“It is not enough for Mobil to say they are cleaning up; they have to tell us what dispersants they are using,” Nnimmo Bassey, executive director of Environmental Rights Action, an affiliate of Friends of the Earth, said today by phone from Benin City, Nigeria. “Their continuous spilling in the area has destroyed the fisheries economy and general livelihoods of the people.”
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