Bayelsa Govt. Admonishes Oil Firms On Flouting Court Orders

Oil, Bayelsa, CourtThe Bayelsa State Government has expressed concern and displeasure with oil firms for flouting court orders on oil spill cases in the state.

The government decried the alleged ‘blatant disregard for court rulings’ and called on oil firms operating in the state to embrace the rule of law.

The appeal was made by the Special Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson on Oil and Gas, Mr Felix Ayah, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

“Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has reneged its corporate social responsibilities to maintain peace in its operations, negating the state government’s effort to strengthen the existing peace for smooth operations by (the) oil firms.

“After going through the outcome of the court’s verdict at my disposal authenticating Anyamawari family as certified owners of the land, it is incumbent on SPDC to recognise and treat them as such,” said Mr Ayah who mediated in a peace meeting between Onyoma community in Southern Ijaw and the SPDC.

He advised the Anyamawari family to channel all relevant documents to appropriate quarters of the company for prompt action and payments of all outstanding obligations without further delay.

An official of the SPDC, who said that the oil firm had laid down procedures in resolving issues with communities where it operates, urged the community to follow the same process.

The Bayelsa Government had in January 2016 sued the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, seeking 1.6 trillion naira damages for pollution caused by an oil spill in Brass area of the state in November 2013.

Imiringi Community Alarmed By Gas Pipeline On River

pipelineResidents of Imiringi community in Ogbia Local Government of Bayelsa State have raised an alarm regarding the passing of a gas pipeline across the surface of Kolo Creek.

They believe the presence of the gas pipeline on the river will hinder water transportation in the area as the river is a regular route used by public transporters to ferry people to the neighbouring communities.

Some of the residents, who expressed their displeasure, said the creek was an important transportation channel in the area and the pipeline would disrupts the movement of fishermen, farmers and other residents in the area.

They urged the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), which executed the project, to lay the pipes under water to enable them navigate the creek.

A 60-year-old farmer, Mrs Sbanua Hyuka, said: “We can no longer pass through some areas in the creek with our canoes due to the pipes that run across the surface.

“It is affecting those who have farms beyond that point; they can no longer go to their farms to harvest crops”.

Another indigene of Imiringi community, Mrs Ekiyor Harrison, said “the crossing of the pipes is giving us great concern. Before now, we used to paddle our canoe beyond that point to our farms. But that is no longer possible due to the way Shell passed the pipes across the river.

“We are appealing that the company returns to lay the pipes on the bed of the river so that we can have peace of mind. The situation is troubling”.

“We cannot pass that place with our canoes as it is currently”.

A trader, Mr Titus Ogola, who plies the route frequent said the situation had adversely affected the people and urged SPDC to pass the pipes under water.

“Recently Shell awarded a contract to Nestoil for the construction of gas pipelines from Koko Creek to Soku in Rivers State.

“Unfortunately, the pipelines are designed to cross this creek. But the crossing can be done in the proper way. The pipes should have been laid underneath”.

“During the last flooding season, the whole of the creek was blocked because of the pipelines. Now that it is dry season, women cannot
even navigate their canoe across that section of the creek because of the pipes.

“This small creek is where most of our men and women come for fishing to sustain their families,” he added.

When contacted, the spokesman for the SPDC, Mr Precious Okolobo, declined comments on the matter.

Osinbajo Expresses FG’s Commitment To Repairing Vandalised Pipelines

Yemi-OsinbajoNigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo on Friday said that the Federal and State Governments were committed to ensure the quick repair of the vandalized 48 ” crude pipeline at Focardos Export Terminal to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians.

Addressing Journalists after a fact finding visit on repair work at the terminal, Prof. Osinbajo condemned the act of vandalism, explaining that it was as bad as any kind of terrorism and would not be tolerated by the government because it has an adverse effect on the economy.

“Federal government is working with the state and Shell Petroleum Development Company to ensure that the damaged pipeline is repaired quickly because government is losing a lot of money since that terminal stopped working, About 300,000 barrels of crude oil daily is shut in which is a great loss to our economy.” he said

“Pipeline vandalism is what we are trying to curtail and we are beefing up security in the area to ensure that such incident does not happen again because it has also affected gas production in the country resulting in the epileptic power supply being experienced in the country”, he added.

The Vice President noted that the damages on the pipeline is responsible for the poor generation of gas which has also negatively affected power generation in the country

Also speaking, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, said that the Focardos Terminal was important to the state and Federal Government as it was the Export Terminal used by Shell Petroleum Development Company to evacuate product for sale, stressing that “all production on land, both crude and gas, by Shell has been reduced and this is affecting power supply in the country.”

He expressed hope that the repair works on the damaged pipeline would be completed by May ending for operations to commence saying “we were briefed by Shell that the repair works on the pipeline will be completed by May ending, it means that the terminal will become functional soon.”

Niger Delta Oil Spill: Group Accuses NOSDRA, Shell Of Compromise

Crude-oil-spillAmnesty International has accused the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and Shell Petroleum Development Company of corrupt practices in the oil spill clean-up in Nigeria’s Niger delta.

According to a report by the human rights group, entitled “Shell’s false claim about oil spill response in the Niger delta”, NOSDRA certified as clean sites that are visibly contaminated by spillage from the oil giant shell.

Amnesty International’s Country Director, Muhammed Ibrahim, and the Researcher, Business and Human Rights, Mark Dummett, read the report out to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

But the Director General of NOSDRA, Mr Peter Odabor, denied the claims, saying they are false.

Amnesty International’s indictment came two months after President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Program on the clean-up of oil spill sites in the Niger delta be implemented.

The group in the report claimed that Shell lied about her responses to oil spillage in the Niger delta and that some of the sites certified as clean by NOSDRA are still contaminated.

Some communities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria has suffered from decades of oil spill and other forms of pollution resulting from the activities of vandals and oil companies in the region.

Ogoni Land: Shell Commends Clean-up Directive, Pledges Cooperation

Shell-petroleum-on- ogoni landInternational oil company, Shell Petroleum Development Company, has described the move for the clean-up of Ogoni land as a demonstration of leadership by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The company, while promising to play its part in maintaining the momentum, however, rejected the allegation by international human rights organisation, Amnesty International, that its remediation method in Ogoni land is ineffective.

Amnesty International had claimed that the President’s initiative would fail and the Ogoni people would continue to suffer, as long as Shell fails to change its method of oil spill clean-up.

But in a statement, Shell reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the UNEP report as it had reviewed its use of bio-remediation as the principal clean up technique appropriate for the Niger -delta.

It added, “SPDC is working with several additional remediation options recommended by independent experts to ensure that the most appropriate techniques are applied in all impacted sites.”

It further emphasised that in line with the UNEP position, treating the problem of environmental pollution in Ogoni land merely as a technical clean-up exercise is what would result in failure.

It therefore urged coordinated and collaborative action to end the widespread pipeline sabotage, crude oil theft and illegal refining of crude which it claimed are the main causes of environmental pollution in Ogoni land and the Niger-delta in general.



Maritime Workers’ Union Issue Ultimatum To NPA Management

NPAThe Maritime Workers’ Union has issued a two-week ultimatum to the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to pay the eight months salary arrears owed tally clerks and security men who work at the sea ports and terminals.

According to the President General of the union, Anthony Nted, all previous engagement with the ports management has not yielded much. He said the situation might lead to an industrial action if the payments were not made.

He, however, outlined other grievances to include the indiscriminate parking of truck leading to the ports, the deplorable state of roads and relocating tank farms along access road to the sea ports.

Comrade Nted pointed out that the union was not interested in paralysing the ports because of its implication in the nation’s economy. He said that the union had decided to shelve the planned strike and gave NPA a two-week ultimatum to prevail on the companies to pay their debts.

He, however, warned that should the affected companies fail to pay within the two weeks ultimatum, the entire ports would be shut down without notice.

The maritime President appealed to the management of NPA to ensure that things did not degenerate to that level.

On the issue of unpaid arrears to on-board security and tally clerks, he said everything was almost concluded for the payment of the over two years arrears, explaining that the payment could be made within the next three weeks, as the board of NPA last week approved payment of the arrears.

The affected companies include Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Chevron/Texaco, Agip Energy & Natural Resources, Lammalco Nigeria Ltd, Murphy Shipping, Globestar Nigeria Ltd, Hyundai Heavy Industry Nigeria Ltd, ESSO Exploration Production Nigeria ltd, NAOC, TIDEX , Seabulk off shore, Saipem group, Wilbross, Moni Pulo Nigeria Ltd, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited ADDAX Petroleum Development Nigeria Ltd, Amni Petroleum, SNEPCO Ltd, Hydrodive Nig Ltd, Red Transport Nigeria Ltd and Edison Chouset offshore Ltd.

Comrade Nted lamented that the aggrieved workers had been passing through untold hardships and suffering.

“The continued denial of the payment of these dues to the dockworkers – a suffering class of workers, some of whom have died while waiting for the payment – is inhuman and unacceptable.

“As the Authority charged with the responsibility of superintending over the Port operations, we demand that the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority enforces the directive to the companies to pay up the bills without further delay. We further wish to state that we may be forced to withdraw the services of the dockworkers from all our seaports if the payment is not made. Injury to one is injury to all,” he warned.

Rights Activists Want Shell To Pay Compensation Over Bonga Spill

BongaEnvironmental rights activists, led by Chima Williams, have asked the Federal Government to compel Shell Petroleum Development Company- SPDC – to pay compensation to communities and clean up the waters affected by the 2011 Bonga Spill along the Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, the group accused Shell of ignoring government’s earlier directives to pay compensation and clean up communities affected by the spill.

Eight months after the Federal Government directed shell to pay 11.5 million dollars as compensation in February, community representatives have said that Shell has neither cleaned up the affected areas nor paid the compensations.

Soku Oil Wells: Bayelsa Accuses Amaechi Of Distorting Facts

The Bayelsa State Government has accused Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi of distorting the facts on Soku Oil Wells with the sole aim of blackmailing President Goodluck Jonathan.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Mr Daniel Iworio-Markson, said Governor Amaechi is merely using the Soku Oil Wells to incite the Kalabaris in Rivers State against their Nembe kinsmen in Bayelsa.

Mr Iworio-Markson explained that the controversy on Soku had long been resolved by the Supreme Court, National Boundary Commission and several Presidential Committees before Dr Goodluck Jonathan assumed leadership of the country as President.

He  said Soku was merely a name adopted by Shell being its nearest operation base at the time and not necessarily because the Oil Wells are located in Rivers State.

TCN Alerts On 400mw Drop In Electricity

Starting from Monday, November 4, there will be a 400 megawatts drop in electricity generation in Nigeria, which would lead to blackout in some areas.

The information is from the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, which added that due to the expected drop in electricity, there would be rationing of power supply.

A statement issued by the TCN explained that the drop is as a result of the Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) scheduled maintenance work on Okoloma Gas Plant supplying gas to Afam VI Power Plant.

According to TCN, the shutdown of Afam VI Power Plant became necessary to allow SPDC inspect and carry out routine maintenance work on the Okoloma Natural Gas Station in Afam, Rivers State, to ensure its technical integrity.

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on its part said that maintenance work on Okoloma Gas Plant is important to guarantee continuous and uninterrupted supply of gas to Afam VI for power generation into the national grid.

TCN, while apologising for the inconveniences the 6-day power rationing will cause the Federal Government and electricity consumers nationwide, assured Nigerians that “the maintenance work is in line with efforts to improve power supply in the country.”

However, despite the 400megawatts drop in electricity supply, the Federal Government remains confident that power supply will improve sooner than later.

Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprise, Ibrahim Baba Gana, expressed this optimism while appearing as a guest on Channels Television flagship News At Ten. He said that due process was followed in the handover of the sector to private operators, and all investors are bracing up to ensuring that adequate power supply is made available.

Shell Shut Trans Niger Pipeline

Shell Petroleum Development Company has shut down the Trans Niger pipeline after locating another leak on the line.

This is the second time in less than a month the pipeline is being shut down.

Shell says the shutdown of the Trans Niger pipeline which is a major pipeline in Nigeria will result in a cut of about 150,000 barrels of oil per day.

Nigeria’s total output has been at around two million barrels per day.

On Thursday, the international energy company had said in its monthly review of the oil market that the theft of oil from pipelines in Nigeria had damaged infrastructure, and is one factor in the fall of output by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of which Nigeria is a member.

NUPENG suspends strike over Shell’s anti-labour practices

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended the picketing of Shell Petroleum Development Company formations nationwide following the intervention by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu.

Shell's office in Port-Harcourt
People walk past Dutch oil giant Shell's sign board in Nigeria

In a statement signed by the officials of the union and the management of Shell, the minister of labour directed the management of Shell to recall all sacked officers and members on or before December 4, 2012.

NUPENG had last week paralyzed business activities of Shell offices over alleged anti-labour practices by management of the oil company.

The union accused Shell of being the major vendor of enslaving Nigerians through exploitative contract and agency labour employment otherwise known as outsourcing.

It explained that the contract workers in Shell have no conditions of service, adding that when their contracts are terminated, they are not paid severance benefits other than one month’s salary irrespective of the number of years in service.

In a bid to forestall any industrial crisis, the labour minister waded into the dispute shortly after the union leaders threatened to embark on a nationwide strike.

At the meeting the minister directed management of Shell to immediately recall the sacked union members in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.

The meeting also resolved that NUPENG shall seek the leave of the court to withdraw all cases pending against SHELL.

The meeting is expected to be reconvened on January 31st to look at areas of progress made so far.

Shell confrims pump failure in Bayelsa

Shell's office in Port-HarcourtThe Shell Petroleum Development Company on Wednesday confirmed a pump failure at their facility in Niger Delta,  Bayelsa State.

Precious Okolobo who is the spokesman for Shell said, the incident occurred at Nembe Creek, 3 Flow Station, Bayelsa State.

Okolobo said “A pump failure was reported at SPDC’s  Nembe Creek 3 flow station this morning. The pump was immediately shut down,”

“However, some oil escaped from the seal into the saver pit in the flow station with some sheen observed. The pump has been repaired,” the spokesperson said.

“There was no oil spill, and there was no impact on the environment,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Chairman of the Oil and Gas Committee, Nengi James, said the spill was as a result of a technical fault.
He added that the spill had already flown from Nembe Creek to the Brass River down to the Atlantic Ocean.

Nengi called on the Anglo Dutch oil firm to pay appropriate compensation and embark on a thorough clean-up of the area.