ExxonMobil says cleaning up oil spill in Nigeria, source still unknown
Lagos (Platts)--20Aug2012/905 am EDT/1305 GMT
ExxonMobil's Nigerian oil producing unit said Monday it is assisting in
the clean-up of an oil spill on Niger Delta shoreline, although it denies the
crude leaked from its production facilities.
Villagers from the coastal community of Ibeno, in southern Akwa Ibom
state, first reported sighting the oil spill along the shoreline near
ExxonMobil's facilities August 14.
"Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited confirms it is assisting with the
clean-up in cooperation with local authorities," the company said in a
"The source of the hydrocarbon remains unknown as fingerprinting of
collected samples is ongoing," the company said, adding that it remains
committed to ensuring that the health and environment of its host communities
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The local community is, however, pinning the spillage on ExxonMobil and
warned of clash with the US oil giant.
A spokesman for the Ibeno/Eket community, Uqua Paul, said in a statement
that the company must take responsibility for the spill as ordered by
state-run National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
"It has come to our notice that the oil spill agency has ordered them to
clean up the contaminated shoreline but for one week now nothing has
happened," said Paul.
"If Mobil dares the regulator, it means that they are up to something
and we shall not allow them to get away with this," he added.
Oil spills have pitched foreign oil companies including Shell, Chevron
and Total against communities in the Niger Delta region, who claim the spills
have ravaged their farmlands and polluted their environment.
The companies blame the majority of the spills on thieves targeting
pipelines and production facilities to steal crude and petroleum products.
A landmark United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) report in August
last year, blamed the Nigerian government and multinational oil companies,
particularly Shell, for 50 years of oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, firstname.lastname@example.org