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Oil spill: Lawan seeks punishment for erring companies

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By Sanni Onogu, Abuja and Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

Senate President Ahmad Lawan yesterday called for punitive measures against indigenous oil companies responsible for oil spillages that devastate host communities where they operate.

He made the assertion in his contribution to a motion titled: “The extremely urgent need to stop the continuous crude oil and gas blow out spill at Santa Barbara well 1, OML 29 operated by AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited in Opu Nembe, Bayelsa State.”

The motion was sponsored by Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, representing Bayelsa East.

Citing Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Degi-Eremienyo noted with concern the continuous gushing and spewing of oil and gas into the waterways and mangrove vegetation of Opu Nembe area of Bayelsa state, “from a long sealed, non-producing oil well 1, Santa Barbara OML 29 belonging to AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited.”

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In his lead debate, Degi-Eremienyo said the Senate is “worried that even though same oil well has witnessed several oil spills in previous years, the current incident borders on catastrophe due to a long period of accumulated oil and maximum pressure from piled up gas in the well.”

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