Eroton finally extinguishes fire on OML18 wellhead


Indigenous oil firm, Eroton Exploration and Exploration Company has finally extinguished the fire explosion on its wellhead at the Akaso field in its Oil Mining Lease, OML18, more than two weeks after the incident.

Recall that on January 20th, 2023, Eroton had confirmed the well-head fire incident at its Akaso well15L in Cawthone Channel within OML 18, claiming that the incident was caused by suspected oil thieves.

The well15 incident occurred just three months after the company experienced a similar fire explosion on Akaso Well14 in October 2022.

The fire explosion which engulfed the Akaso 15L wellhead in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State has been burning and discharging crude oil and gas into the creeks and tributaries with Degema and Akuku Toru waterways.

Confirming the development, the Director-General, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, Mr. Idris Musa, said on Friday that the fire was put out on February 1st 2023.

Musa explained that the oil wellhead was secured by an indigenous well control firm, Kenyon International West Africa Ltd.

It would be recalled that the indigenous firm was deployed to halt a well leak that lingered for over one month at the OML29 operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration in 2021 when expatriates from Haliburton failed to deploy to site due to COVID-19 lock down.

Musa said that NOSDRA was engaging the operator of OML18 for a Joint Investigative Visit to the fire incident site which has been discharging oil and gas, polluting the area.

Eroton had confirmed the well-head fire incident at its Akaso field of the Cawthrone Channel operational area within OML18 on January 20, 2023.

Spokesperson of the indigenous oil firm , Mercy Max-Ebibai, had in a statement, explained that the well was releasing hydrocarbons into the environment, accompanied by wildfire due to suspected vandalism and bunkering activity on the Xmas tree containment valves of the wellhead

Eroton had in 2015 acquired a 45 percent interest in OML18 for $737million following the divestment by the former operator, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited.