Our focus on today’s edition is how the Bonga oil spill of Dec. 20th 2011 incident occurred.
Shell Nigeria Exploration and production company ( SNEPCO ) admitted that an oil spill occurred on or around 20th December 2011 from their Bonga floating production storage and offloading unit ( the ”Bonga FPSO”) The Bonga FPSO, located 120 km offshore within Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic zone , was at all times operated and controlled by SNEPCO.
The spill itself occurred as a result of equipment failure. In particular, one of the hoses connecting the Bonga FPSO to the ”Single point mooring” system (SPM) malfunctioned due to design/manufacturing defect.
However the spill was contained and effectively dispersed such that it caused minimal or no damage to the shoreline. In this regard SNEPCO as a responsible operator, went to great lengths to respond to and contain the spill.
Following a detailed multi-stakeholders investigation into the Dec.2011 spill, the cause of the spill was conclusively determined to be the failure of one pipe section in a export riser (i.e hose) connected from the Bonga FPSO to the SPM.
This conclusion has been affirmed by the Nigerian oil spill response authority. Notably, the MV Nothia, which was loading from the SPM connected to the Bonga FPSO at the time of the Dec.2011 spill, has not been Identified as contributing to the cause of the spill in anyway.
In the course of responding to the December spill, SNEPCO discovered a third party spill that had nothing whatsoever to do with the Bonga FPSO or SNEPCO’s operations.
This spill due to its unverified source is referred to as the ”mystery spill” in Nigerian regulatory parlance, was dealt with by SNEPCO as a responsible operator.
This series is from the stable of the oil spills victims vanguard (OSPIVV) a non-governmental organization(NGO) incorporated with the corporate affairs commission .
OSPIVV is an initiative whose main object is dedicated to fight for compensation for victims of oil spills, health hazards of gas flaring, transparency in accountability in the Extractive industries in Nigeria.
HARRISON JALLA is an Executive Director (OSPIVV).

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