Posted by By Sola Adebayo, Warri on
The Anglo Dutch oil firm, Shell Petroleum Development Company, on Tuesday said it had commenced the process of re-entry....
The Anglo Dutch oil firm, Shell Petroleum Development Company, on Tuesday said it had commenced the process of re-entry into its Western swamp operation, shut down in the wake of the crisis in the Niger Delta region in February.
All facilities in SPDC’s Western Division in Bayelsa and Delta states, producing about 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day, were closed down during the crisis.
The militants, suspected to be Ijaw, also vandalised virtually all the oil equipment in the area.
However, a reliable source in the company informed our correspondent on Tuesday afternoon that the process of re-entry into the fields in Bayelsa and Delta states, had begun.
“We have commenced the process of re-entry into the Western swamp” the source said.
The source told our correspondent that SPDC has started the distribution of relief materials to the communities impacted by the oil spillage resulting from damages to its facilities by the militants, as a first step.
Already, about 25 communities have benefited from the initiative while other communities were on the queue for their turn.
Thereafter, our correspondent learnt that a joint assessment of the damaged facilities would follow.
The assessment team, according to our investigation, will be made up of SPDC, the communities and officials of the Federal and Delta State Governments.
However, our source said SPDC was not prepared to toy with the security of staff, contractors and communities in its areas of operation.
“We take the security of our staff, contractors and communities in which we work very seriously and we will do everything we can to ensure they are not put at risk,” added our source who craved anonymity.
It will be recalled that the General Manager overseeing the Shell’s Western Division, Mr. Cor. Zegelar, while receiving the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Andrew Azazi, who paid a courtesy call on him last week, said the oil firm would soon commence operations in the area under his supervision.
Zegelar said SPDC’s management had held meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders to facilitate the re-entry process.
He said it would take 110 days to put the damaged facilities in proper shape, adding that full production might start in October.
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