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Exxon Continues to Clean Up Nigerian Oil Spill

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IBADAN, Nigeria – Mobil Producing Nigeria, a local unit of Exxon Mobil Corp., said Tuesday it was continuing to clean up an oil spill off the coast of the country's southeastern Akwa Ibom state and 500 local personnel are involved in the effort.

Personnel and equipment have been deployed over the past week "to support efforts as cleanup continues of oil released from one of the joint venture's offshore pipelines on Nov. 9," it said in a statement.

MPN said last week that the source of the leak had been identified and a pipeline had been shut down.

The company said it was investigating the cause of the leak, but didn't say how much oil had been lost.

An oil spill near an Exxon facility also occurred in August. Residents said that spill had left a long slick along the Akwa Ibom coastline. The company said it had cleaned up that spill.

Oil industry officials say oil spills occur regularly onshore in the Niger Delta, where nearly all of Nigeria's oil is exploited. But they say most of the spills are caused by oil thieves damaging pipelines, while others are due to the pipelines' old age.

"We are working closely with the Department of Petroleum Resources, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment and local community leaders in a joint team to determine coastal shorelines that might have been affected," Mark Ward, MPN managing director, said in the statement.

MPN, the operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. joint venture in the state, said dispersants approved by DPR had been used to disperse the leaked oil.


Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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