Oil spill in Nigeria's Delta halted, state official says

YENAGOA, Nigeria, Dec 8 (Reuters) - A wellhead that has been spilling oil and gas in Nigeria's Bayelsa state has been successfully shut, more than a month after it started polluting the Delta creeks, the state's minister for petroleum said on Wednesday.

Nigerian oil firm Aiteo Eastern E&P reported the "extremely high order" leak from the Santa Barbara wellhead that it jointly owns with state oil company NNPC in early November. Weeks later, the wellhead was still violently spewing oil and gas. read more

"We have put out the leak at SBAS-1. We are grateful for all the support," minister Timipre Sylva said in a statement.

Sylva said the next stage was to carry out a comprehensive service of the wellhead as well as clean up the surrounding area.

An Aiteo spokesman said he would issue a statement later. The company said previously it had contracted Halliburton subsidiary Boots & Coots to stop the spill.

A senate resolution on Tuesday said the leak had spewed two million barrels of oil and gas equivalent into the Niger Delta creeks and mangrove swamps, which are among some of the most polluted areas on earth after decades of gas and oil exploration. read more

Reporting by Tife Owolabi; Editing by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Alex Richardson

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