The oil industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), is investigating incidents of oil leaks allegedly linked to Seplat Petroleum operations in two communities in Delta State.
The investigation is being conducted jointly with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and Delta State Ministry of Environment, with the assistance of the company.
Seplat is a leading indigenous energy company operating in the Niger Delta region.
Recently, a few households in Okpe and Sapele communities in the state complained over the alleged presence of hydrocarbons in their shallow water wells.
Following the receipt of the protest letters from the two communities, Seplat Petroleum said on Friday, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, that it immediately activated its emergency response mechanism to unravel the details about the incident.
The company said the mechanism included the constitution of an investigation team to probe the reported incident and ascertain its authenticity, while proffering solutions.
The team comprised the DPR, NOSDRA, and Delta State Ministry of Environment, which conducted a joint investigation visit to the affected communities, alongside the Seplat emergency response team.
Apart from the investigation team, Seplat said it has continued to take particular interest in the safety and welfare of residents of the two affected communities.
“Seplat has prioritized the safety of the residents of the affected area by providing potable water and secured the water wells from access,” the company said.
“None of the wells has any signs of hydrocarbon in the water. No oil leaks or seepages have been traced back to the Seplat operated facilities,” it added.
The company promised to continue supporting the investigation and provide palliatives to the households in line with its health, safety and environment culture in all areas of its operations.
Apart from carrying out regular checks of other water boreholes in the adjoining vicinity, the company said it has drilled additional test boreholes for the people.
While acknowledging the cooperation of the affected households and communities for their peaceful handling of the issue, the company reassured them of efforts to expedite the investigation to unravel the root cause of the incident.
Seplat said it has built strong partnerships with its vital local communities, promoting trust and confidence amongst its various stakeholders, ultimately resulting in a stable operating environment that facilitates the creation of shared value.
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