Posted by By Vincent Nwanma - Dow Jones Newswires on
Angry Nigerian youths Wednesday shut an oil flow station belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell (RD, SC), a source from Shell told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.
LAGOS -(Dow Jones)- Angry Nigerian youths Wednesday shut an oil flow station belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell (RD, SC), a source from Shell told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.
The source gave the name of the affected flow station as Bilie, located in Rivers State in the Niger Delta. He said the facility produces 40,000 barrels per day of crude oil.
The youths were protesting the failure of the National Political Reform Conference to grant the request of the Niger Delta for a higher control of the oil and gas resources located in the region.
"They want to use the action to make a political statement," said the Shell official, who added that the youths had nothing against the company.
Proceedings at the conference have since been suspended following a boycott by delegates from the south-south zone of Nigeria that comprises Akwa Ibom, Bayels, Cross River, Edo, Delta, and Rivers States.
The states want a minimum of 25% derivation of oil and gas receipts, while the leadership of the conference approved only 17%, an increase of 4% over what the zone currently receives.
Since the suspension of talks at the conference, youth organizations in the Niger Delta have warned that they would make the region uncomfortable for oil companies to operate.
Some have even warned that oil companies should withdraw their staff from the region, saying they would resort to kidnapping of the workers.
In the case of Shell, the source said the youths had earlier written to the government and the company, warning they would take this action.
"But they did not accuse us of anything," said the source.
The source said negotiations are currently going on between Shell and the group, while workers at the affected flow station had to be evacuated.
Shutdown or invasion of oil and gas facilities is a common event in the Niger Delta, as communities use these to press for various demands.
Shell is the largest oil company in Nigeria, with output from a joint venture involving it and state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNP.YY) accounts for nearly half of Nigeria's crude oil production.
-By Vincent Nwanma, Dow Jones Newswires; +234-1-585-0849; vincent.nwanma@ dowjones.com 0-
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