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Shell shuts in 14,200 barrels over unrest

Posted by Clara Nwachukwu with agency report on 2005/08/18 | Views: 244 |

Shell shuts in 14,200 barrels over unrest

Anglo-Dutch energy giant, Royal Dutch Shell, said on Wednesday that it had shut down about 14,200 barrels of daily production after local communities in Nigeria surrounded one of its oil fields.

Anglo-Dutch energy giant, Royal Dutch Shell, said on Wednesday that it had shut down about 14,200 barrels of daily production after local communities in Nigeria surrounded one of its oil fields.

Although the story about the closure of the flow station and the manifold broke on Tuesday, it was not clear how much of Shell’s production was affected.

A London-based spokesman for Shell, Simon Buerk, said that, "Some members of some communities have surrounded the Agbada 1 flow station" in the oil-rich but troubled Niger Delta in southern Nigeria.

"Some 14,200 barrels per day of production is shut-in," he added.

Shell's Corporate External Relations Manager, Mr. Donald Boham, in a statement on Wednesday, explained the oil firms side in the impasse.

According to him, "Youths from Mbodo-Aluu shut down Agbada 1 flow station, following an inconclusive meeting on August 15 with representatives of four communities claiming compensation over a 2003 spill in the area. The communities are Mgbuchi, Elikpokwodu, Rukpokwu and Mbodo-Aluu."

He said that the spill, which generated the impasse did not affect the Mbodo-Aluu as its representatives claimed.

He said that was the reason why the clean-up exercise was not extended to the area, and also why the community was not entitled to compensation.

The community’s leaders were, however, said to have disagreed with Shell and also turned down a joint inspection of the affected site.

"Rather, they shut down the flow station, which was producing 14,200 barrels per day of crude oil. We have informed all relevant authorities and called for another meeting with the communities,” he said.

But the Chairman, Community Development Committee of Elikpokwuodu, Mr. Clifford, had on Tuesday, alleged that the SPDC never responded to the people’s call for immediate plugging of the pipeline when it ruptured.

In another development, Shell has reiterated that it had no outstanding spill claims with the Peretorugbene community, Bayelsa State, as all compensations arising from a spill in the area in 1998 had been made.

Reacting to a 14-day ultimatum issued by a community leader in a statement signed by the External Affairs Manager, West, Mr. Harriman Isa Oyofo, Shell disclosed that it paid the sum of N1,134,838.00 as compensation to the community.

According to the company, "Compensation amounting to One Million, One Hundred and Thirty Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira was disbursed to the Peretorugbene Community as contained in a signed indemnity of August 27, 1998," adding, "A cheque dated 3/7/98 for this amount was received by one Collins Daunemugha of Peretorugbene Community on August 7, 1998."

In addition, Shell said that it paid another N87,500 upon the intervention of the Bayelsa State Government, to defray the logistics costs incurred by the community’s participants in the negotiations for compensations and this was collected on their behalf by the chairman and secretary of the community, Bariala Agwana, and Afragana Mienseifa, respectively on May 17, 2005.

The company said that the additional payments were made after, "One Coastal Claims Agency made unsuccessful attempts to press for further claims from SPDC. The matter was finally brought to the attention of the Bayelsa State Government and a meeting to resolve the issue was held between the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, Peretorugbene Community and SPDC on May 26, 2005. At the end of deliberations, the Honourable Commissioner of Environment debunked the claim that the then leadership in the community was not properly constituted. He told them that they were duly represented during the assessment exercise."

With regards to the contentious oil spill, Shell said, "An oil spillage occurred at Akano Well-1 in the Akono Oil field located in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State in April 1998, and a Joint Investigation Team was constituted, which visited the spill site and clearly delineated the impacted area.

Subsequently, an assessment of the properties impacted by the spill was conducted following which negotiations were held and compensation paid to the affected claimants, which resulted in the compensations paid.

Royal Dutch Shell produces more than a third of its crude production in Nigeria -- approximately 1.0 million barrels per day -- and the affected oil field only accounts for a small fraction of that.

Shell is Nigeria's largest oil operator, accounting for almost half of the west African country's daily exports of 2.5 million barrels.

Oil multinationals operating in the swamps of the Niger delta are regularly targeted by communities demanding jobs, compensation and amenities.

The PUNCH, Thursday, August 18, 2005

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.