Italian Oil Major Makes Huge Gas Discovery In Nigeria

Italian oil major, Eni, said on Wednesday that its Nigerian subsidiary Agip has found lots of gas and oil in an onshore facility in the Niger Delta.

Eni operated Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) made the discovery in the Obiafu-Obrikom fields.

It said the Obiafu-41 deep well had reached a total depth of 4.374 m, encountering an important gas and condensate accumulation within the deltaic sequence of Oligocene age comprising more than 130m of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sands.

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“The find amounts to about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas and 60 million barrels of associated condensate in the deep drilled sequences,” the statement by the oil major added.

“The well can deliver in excess of 100 million standard cubic feet/day of gas and 3,000 barrels/day of associated condensates, and will be immediately put on-stream to increase NAOC’s gas production.”

The statement added that Eni has been operating in Nigeria since 1962 and produces 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Amnesty Int’l Accuses Shell, Eni Of Negligence Over Niger Delta Oil Spills

 

 

Rights group, Amnesty International, has faulted reports of oil spills in the Niger Delta by Shell and Eni, and is asking the Federal Government re-open investigations into 89 oil spills in the region.

According to the group, the oil giants under-reported the number of spills in the last seven years and also attributed the causes to activities of militants and oil thieves.

But findings by pipeline experts, accufacts, which carried out the investigation on behalf of Amnesty International, also blamed the spills on pipeline corrosion.

Part of the report also accuses the companies of responding late to reports of oil spills.

It added: “We consider Shell and Eni to be deliberately reckless and therefore wilfully negligent in their operations in Nigeria – their failure to operate in line with Nigerian law and best practice standards is having a devastating impact on the human rights of Niger Delta communities.”

Amnesty International is, therefore, calling on the Nigerian government to strengthen its regulation of the oil industry, including the oil spills agency, NOSDRA, with adequate tools to ensure that the oil companies prevent and clean up spills.

The call was made after crowd-sourced analysis of the companies’ publicly available documents on pipeline failures in the Niger Delta region.

Activists who pored over reports found that since Shell began publishing details in January 2011, it had 1,010 spills amounting to 110,535 barrels or 17.5 million litres of crude.

ENI had 820 spills — the equivalent of 26,286 barrels or 4.1 million litres of oil — since it made its reports public in 2014.

The companies blamed “third party interference” — either sabotage of pipelines by militants or the theft of crude known locally as “bunkering” — for most of the spills.

‘Insult To Injury’

But Amnesty’s business and human rights researcher Mark Dummett said the companies’ claims to be doing all they can to prevent spills were at odds with the analysis.

“(Researchers) found that the companies often ignore reports of oil spills for months on end — on one occasion ENI took more than a year to respond,” he said in a statement.

“The Niger Delta is one of the most polluted places on Earth and it beggars belief that the companies responsible are still displaying this level of negligence.

“Adding insult to injury is the fact that Shell and ENI seem to be publishing unreliable information about the cause of extent of spills,” he added, accusing both firms of “recklessness”.

Allegations about misreporting, including under-estimating the amount of oil spilled, are significant as they could affect claims for compensation for local communities.

In January 2015, Shell agreed to pay £55 million ($77 million, 62 million euros) in compensation to more than 15,500 people affected by oil spills in the Ogoniland area of Rivers state.

The case saw the company admit the spills were greater than first reported.

Food, water contamination

Oil companies are required to make an initial assessment of any spill within 24 hours of detection, put in place measures to prevent wider contamination and clean up spills swiftly.

But the analysis indicated Shell responded within 24 hours on only 26 per cent of occasions during the period in question, while ENI did so on 76 per cent of times.

The risk of contamination of food and water sources increases the longer the response time to spills.

Many spills happened in the same area. ENI, for example, had 262 spills on its 92-kilometre (57.5-mile) Tebidaba-Brass pipeline in Bayelsa state.

ENI blamed sabotage for 260 of the spills but the company was warned multiple times to improve surveillance, it was alleged in Amnesty’s report, “Negligence in the Niger Delta”.

Shell rejected the allegations, saying they were “false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which it operates”.

ENI similarly rejected claims that it was failing to take prompt action or was providing unreliable or misleading information.

It said spills were down by more than 50 per cent last year compared to 2014.

Eni, Shell To Stand Trial In Italy Over Nigerian Bribery Scandal

Italian giant Eni and fellow petroleum company Shell will stand trial in Italy over allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2011 purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

A judge in Milan ordered Eni, Shell and key figures such as Eni chief Claudio Descalzi and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni to stand trial in proceedings to begin March 5.

The companies are accused of corruption in the 2011 purchase of OPL245, an offshore oil block estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of crude, for $1.3 billion.

“Eni’s Board of Directors has reaffirmed its confidence that the company was not involved in alleged corrupt activities in relation to the transaction,” the Italian firm said in a statement Wednesday.

“Eni expresses its full confidence in the judicial process and that the trial will ascertain and confirm the correctness and integrity of its conduct,” it said.

It insisted in particular that “chief executive Claudio Descalzi was not involved in the alleged illegal conduct”.

Both companies are charged with corruption in Nigeria over the deal, which allegedly saw Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan and his oil minister pocket bribes.

Both have repeatedly maintained that they acquired the rights to the lucrative block in line with Nigerian law.

AFP

Bayelsa Community Drags Eni To Italian Court

Malabu Oil: Court Vacates Forfieture OrderThe Ikebiri community in Bayelsa state has dragged Eni, parent company of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to an Italian court over oil spill liabilities and pollution.

The community, a coastal settlement in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, is seeking cleanup and compensation for damages from an oil spill that affected their community in 2010.

In a statement issued in Yenagoa, Head of Legal Resources at the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Mr Chima Williams, noted that it is supporting the community in the legal action alongside Friends of the Earth, Europe.

RA/FoEN stated that Eni, which operates in Nigeria as NAOC is responsible for the spill caused by equipment failure.

It quoted its Executive Director, Dr. Godwin Ojo, as saying: “This is the first case of its kind against Italian oil giant Eni, after years of exploitation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

“Negligence and nonchalance from ENI and its subsidiary, NAOC has left the Ikebiri community suffering from the impacts of oil pollution for seven years.

“The leak was plugged in 2010, and NAOC claims to have cleaned up the site. However, according to the community the leaked oil in the surrounding area was simply burnt, without their consent. To date, no adequate compensation has been offered, or cleanup completed,” Ojo said.

Also, the Monarch of Ikebiri community, Francis Temi Ododo said that residents of the Niger Delta have suffered the effects of oil spillage for too long and can no longer bear it.

“Our community cannot wait any longer. We have had ENI’s pollution for too long, damaging our fishing, our farming and our lives. We are now looking to the Italian courts for justice for our people.

“The communities of the Niger Delta have had to live for decades with the effects of continuous oil spills on our health, the welfare and their livelihoods.

“Thousands of oil spills have ravaged the communities across the Niger Delta to feed the profits of ENI, and other oil and gas companies,” the community leader said.

Meanwhile, Media Relations Officer at the Exploration, Upstream and Technical Activities unit of the Eni, Marilia Cioni confirmed the litigation in an emailed response.

“I will revert to you with Eni’s position on this matter shortly,” Cioni said.

This is coming less than 24 hours after the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, met in a closed door meeting over the Malabu Opl 245 scandal.

The meeting dwelt on issues relating to Agip’s investment on Zabazaba field which is part of the Opl 245.

EFCC Files Charges Against Shell, Eni, Nine Others

EFCCThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a three-count charge of conspiracy and corruption against two multinational oil firms, Shell and Eni, for their roles in the alleged Malabu $1.1 billion scandal.

Nine others were also charged along with the two multinational companies before an FCT High Court in Abuja on Thursday.

Those charged alongside Shell and Eni are a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, and a former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, as well as a businessman Aliyu Abubakar.

In the first count of the charge, Shell Nigeria, Nigeria AGIP Exploration Ltd., Eni S.p.A, a former Director of SNEPCO, Ralph Wetzels, two Italians who are former directors in AGIP, Casula Roberto and Burrafato Sebastiano, Douzia Louya Etete popularly known as Dan Etete, Mohammed Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd. allegedly conspired sometime in 2011 to commit an offence of official corruption.

In the charge sheet signed by Jonson Ojogbane for the EFCC, the offence was said to be contrary to Section 26 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2000 and punishable under Section 12 of the same act.

In the second charge, Dan Etete, Mohammed Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas were alleged to have corruptly received the sum of eight hundred and one (801) million dollars in respect of OPL 245 from Shell Nigeria, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd. and Eni S.p.A.

The new charges were said to be part of an international collaboration to ensure that all those who partook in the alleged $1.1 billion OPL 245 scandal were brought to justice.

The OPL 245 oil block is currently owned by the Nigerian Government after a temporary court order granted on the basis of an EFCC application.

Shell and Eni have since appealed the order asking that the block be returned to them.

Agip To Invest More In Green River Project In Niger Delta

Benue, Air Force, YouthsThe NAOC Green River Project coordinators say they will be investing more in agriculture Niger Delta region of Nigeria by increasing the area of coverage and creating a new Plant Propagation Centre in Delta State

The project is part of the corporate social responsibility of the the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in partnership with Oando, Eni and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

It was the 20th Farmers’ Day Celebration in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State and many farmers that have benefited from the Green River Project gathered to show their appreciation for the support they had received from the project coordinators.

It is an initiative that supports farmers from the different host communities of NAOC by providing them with improved agricultural products and soft loans to advance their agro-businesses.

At the venue of the celebration, it was a gathering of farmers and lovers of agro-business as the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and its partners inspect the different farm produce displayed by the farmers in order to get a scorecard of their investments in the agricultural sector of their host communities drawn for Delta, Imo, Rivers and Bayelsa State.

The theme ‘Sustainable Farming for Sustainability’ is quite apt, as the farmers who are grateful beneficiaries of the benevolence of NAOC under their Green River Project have gotten, improved seeds, plantain suckers, tractors, hoes and even money to ensure that they succeed in their individual businesses.

The Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the NAOC Green River Project (GRP), Massimo Insulla, while cheering on the beneficiaries of the project who have in the past year improved on the quality of their produce announced the preparedness of the company to still invest more in the agricultural sector of their host states.

“As we take stock today of the achievements of this initiative and its contribution to the empowerment of benefiting farmers and their families, we are encouraged to invest more and more in the states. In other to make the benchmark of many of such initiatives, this year, we have increased the area of coverage of the Green River Project by creating a new plant propagation centre in Kwale, Delta State.

“We have begun rehabilitation of an existing complex of about eight hectares in Bayelsa State,” he told the gathering.

The District General Manager of the Green River Project, Marco Rotondi, said that the company’s intervention was focused on women, the youths, children who are still in secondary school by teaching them the importance of farming and to encourage the farmers to form cooperatives societies in order to benefit from the loan issued by the NAOC.

He also listed other services offered by the NAOC Green River Project to advance agriculture in the Niger Delta.

“We are very proud of the following services that our project offers. First is the provision of improved seeds and agricultural and agro-allied materials, agricultural extension services and skill acquisitions programme and micro-credit scheme aimed at delivering entrepreneurial training”.

The Honourable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, commended the NAOC for the initiative.

He said that the project was worth emulating.

In his speech, he told the gathering that the Federal Government was repositioning the Bank of Agriculture and had also created the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for agricultural lending to enable farmers access more affordable credit facilities.

“It must be noted that despite the huge oil and gas deposit, the Niger Delta region is blessed with one of the world’s largest wetlands with arable lands for agriculture and has the capacity to become a domestic and international provider of agricultural produce,” Senator Lokpobiri stated.

He also appealed to Niger Delta residents to embrace peace and focus on agriculture for sustainable economic development and wealth creation.

Aside the speeches of commendation the dignitaries visited the farmers village which was constructed by the farmers to display their wares and one after the other the farmers expressed their gratitude to the NAOC while explaining how the Green River Project had impacted their lives.

Niger Delta Avengers: Britain Cautions FG Over Military Option

Niger Delta Avengers, Niger Delta, MILITARY OPTIONThe British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has cautioned the federal government over military option as a measure to tackle the resurgence of militancy and other criminality in the Niger Delta region.

The British High Commissioner was speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, shortly after his courtesy visit to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.

He also advocated for dialogue as part of a comprehensive approach that should be adopted by Nigerian government to address the situation, adding that force alone may not bring about a lasting solution to the Niger Delta issue.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), an armed militant group, and other violent youth organisations have been launching violent attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta area.

Early on Friday, the Niger Delta Avengers militant group claimed three new attacks in the Niger Delta region.

The group said through its Twitter account that it had blown up a pipeline in Bayelsa State owned by Italy’s ENI, hours after attacks on another ENI pipeline as well as one belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC).

This is sequel to several other attacks they have carried out in recent weeks resulting in international oil companies shutting down their facilities and consequently a drop in the country’s revenue from oil.

The action has forced the federal government to respond by deploying troops to the area’s creeks to stop the alleged destruction of national economic assets and spate of sabotage being perpetrated there by the region’s restive youths.

Niger Delta Avengers Militant Group Claims Attacks In Bayelsa

Gunmen-Militants-insurgentsThe Niger Delta Avengers militant group has claimed three new attacks in the Niger Delta region.

Early on Friday, the group said through its Twitter account that it had blown up a pipeline in Bayelsa State owned by Italy’s ENI, hours after attacks on another ENI pipeline as well as one belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC).

The group said on a Twitter account it uses to claim attacks that it has blown up the Brass to Tebidaba crude oil line in Bayelsa.

The pipeline is used to transport Brass River crude, which was placed under force majeure after an attack in May, to an export terminal.

Hours earlier, the group said it blew up the Ogboinbiri-Tebidaba and Clough creek-Tebidaba pipelines in Bayelsa and a Shell forcados export pipeline.

That grade has been under force majeure since an attack on a sub-sea pipeline in February.

ENI has not confirmed or denied the attacks, but a spokesman for the SPDC, which operates the forcados line, says the company is “investigating reports of an attack on its pipeline in the western Niger Delta.

NLNG Eyes $1.5 Bln Debut Ship Yard In Nigeria

Ship_YardThe Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) is sponsoring the construction of the first major ship yard in Nigeria at the cost of $1.5 billion, in its attempt to turn the country into a hub for maritime operations on the continent.

Nigeria does not have a drydock for maintaining and repairing large crude vessels, a major drawback for carriers sailing to the country, NLNG spokesman Tony Okonedo told Reuters.

Only South Africa had such a facility on the continent, Okonedo said, meaning that ships travelled a long distance for repairs. Nigeria has two facilities that can only accommodate small vessels, he said.

Okonedo said Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries have both agreed a $30 million commitment towards the construction of the facility, which would be located in Badagry, near Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos.

“It could potentially be used to transport the 2.5 million barrel a day crude business in Nigeria,” Okonedo said on the sidelines of a media briefing.

Okonedo said the NLNG organised a roadshow earlier this year to market the dry dock project to investors, which included multinational oil companies in Nigeria, with large exploration and upstream activities.

He said NLNG, which is owned by Nigeria’s state-oil company NNPC, Royal Dutch Shell, French oil company Total and Italy’s Eni was in discussions with a strategic investor for the project.

It appointed France’s BNP Paribas and Guaranty Trust Bank to help raise around $1.6 billion two years ago to build six new LNG carrier ships, expanding its fleet to 30.

The construction of the dry dock, with a size that can accommodate 185 football fields, will take up to 48 months to complete and would commence once all the funding was in place, he said.

The company, which was set up over two decades ago, has a capacity to produce 22 million metric tonnes of liquefied gas a year. It obtains its gas supply from upstream oil companies and liquefies it for export.

It has long-term supply contracts with buyers in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal and France and also sells on the spot market.

Revenues for the first half shed 25 percent, in line with the fall in crude prices, NLNG said.

Shell Sells Some Oil fields In Nigeria

Shell_SaleRoyal Dutch Shell has sold some of four oil fields up for grabs in Nigeria, it said on Wednesday, as the oil and gas company pushes ahead with global asset sales to cut costs, Reuters News Agency is reporting.

Shell last year put up for sale its 30 percent shares in four oil blocks in the Niger Delta — Oil Mining Licence (OML) 18, 24, 25, 29 — as well as a key pipeline, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.

“We have signed sales & purchase agreements for some of the Oil Mining Leases, but not all that we are seeking to divest,” a Shell spokesman said.

No details were available on the value of the deals signed, nor when the full process will be completed.

France’s Total and Italy’s Eni are also set to raise revenue from the sale of their 10 percent and 5 percent shares in the assets. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns the remaining 55 percent.

The Financial Times on Wednesday reported that Shell is close to selling the assets for about $5 billion to domestic buyers.

In March, Reuters reported that Nigerian firms Taleveras and Aiteo made the highest bid of $2.85 billion for the biggest of the four oil fields, OML 29.

Shell, along with many other oil majors, is undergoing a broad process of asset sales across the world in an effort to cut costs and boost profits.

Other companies, including Total, Eni, Chevron and ConocoPhillips have sought to pull out of the oil-rich West African country which has been plagued by oil theft.

Pirates Kidnap 2 Near Nigerian Facility

Pirates have attacked a tugboat near the Brass River crude oil export terminal in the Niger Delta, kidnapping the ship’s captain and an engineer.

Sources said that the tugboat was coming from Port Harcourt in Rivers State to Brass to load petroleum at the terminal.

A spokesman for Italian oil company ENI, which operates the terminal said that the boat belonged to a contractor and that no ENI workers were involved.

A statement from an email address claiming to be the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), formerly Nigeria’s main militant threat and responsible for years of attacks on the oil industry until a 2009 amnesty, said it had launched the attack.

It came from a Jomo Gbomo, a pseudonym and email account MEND has used in the past.

However, security officials believe MEND to be largely defunct, with most of its senior leaders either having embraced the amnesty programme or in jail, so its continued statements are believed to be most likely a hoax.

Reps. To Investigate Sale Of OML 30 Minning Licence

The House of Representatives has resolved to carry out a comprehensive investigation on the sale of oil mining licence, OML 30 to an alleged questionable oil exploring company.

This resolution was reached after Representative Yusuf Tajudeen presented a motion on the security implications bordering the said oil deal.

He said this development will have adverse effect on Nigeria’s revenue, economy, infrastructural and technical development.

The House Committee on Petroleum Resources, Upstream has been mandated to investigate the matter and report to the House within 3 weeks.

UK based explorer Heritage Oil had announced earlier in the year that Nigerian outfit Shoreline Power has agreed to acquire a 14.5 per cent equity slice of the duo’s OML 30 venture.

Heritage Oil and Nigeria’s Shoreline Power acquired OML 30 from Shell, Total and Eni last year in an $850million deal.

The deal came with an option for Shoreline Power to acquire an extra 30 per cent of Heritage Oil’s stake in the joint venture at OML 30.

The prolific block produced 35,704 barrels of oil in November, 15,665 of which was net to Heritage Oil under the prior 55:45 ownership and which yielded the UK explorer an estimated $52million.