THE state of abandoned oil wells in the country has become a source of concern to stakeholders in the oil industry.
For instance, Shell, is said to have abandoned 32 of their oil wells in Akwa Ibom State axis of Nigeria. Currently, there are abandoned oil wells in three communities in Eastern Obolo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State for increased daily oil production. A total of 32 oil wells located in Oko, Okoroette and Utapete communities were explored, sealed and abandoned 17 years ago by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria.
Also, the Oloibiri Oilfield is an onshore oilfield located in Oloibiri in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, produced last over 20 million barrels of oil during its 20 years life cycle. Oil production finally stopped in 1978 and the field was abandoned the same year.
The Oloibiri oilfield was abandoned without any improved recovery to drain some of the 21.26 million barrels (3,380,000 m3) of hydrocarbon still left on the field.
According to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), of the 606 oil fields in the Niger Delta area, 355 are on-shore while the remaining 251 are offshore. Of these, 193 are currently operational while 23 have been shut in or abandoned as a result of poor prospectively or total drying up of the wells.
Expressing his concern for abandoned well in the country recently, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio made said that these oil wells were operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria 17 years ago, which have been locked up and now constitute a nuisance and endanger the lives of the children of Eastern Obolo for so many years.
He said: “These oil wells are on-shore. I appeal to the Federal Government to plead with Shell Petroleum Development Company and the Minister of Petroleum Resources to do everything possible to get the wells functional and reopened, so that business can enter into the towns; our children can have employment opportunities; our state can improve on on-shore oil capacity and so that some industries would come to Eastern Obolo’’.