Nigerian authorities are closely monitoring and working to contain an oil spill that occurred during loading operations at the TotalEnergies-operated Egina field on Nov. 15, the maritime agency said on Wednesday.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is collaborating with the spill detention agency and the oil industry regulator to contain the spill, though the volume is not yet confirmed, spokesperson Osagie Edward said in a statement.
A TotalEnergies spokesperson said the spill impact was minimal and production at the 200,000 barrel-per-day capacity oilfield was not affected. The company is working with local authorities to clear the resident sheen from the incident, he said.
Oil spills have blighted Nigeria's oil-rich Niger River delta region for decades, causing widespread environmental damage and negatively impacting the lives of millions of people in the local communities.
NIMASA said TotalEnergies is providing aerial surveillance and applying dispersant while considering further action to clean up the spill.
"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," NIMASA chief Bashir Jamoh said.
So far, a reconnaissance survey of neighboring areas shows that coastal communities across Andoni, Qua-Iboe terminals, Bonny Island, Opobo/Nkoro, and Eastern Obolo have not yet been impacted by the spill.
Oil majors operating in Nigeria, Africa's top crude producer, have faced a string of litigation in the past over spills.
In May, Shell won a UK Supreme Court case over a 2011 oil spill off Nigeria's coast.
(Reuters - Writing by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)