Posts Tagged ‘Belema Oil Company’

Shell warns of safety risks at occupied Nigeria plant

August 21, 2017

AFP

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© AFP/File | Children paddle past an oil pipeline head near their home in the Andoni settlement on Bonny waterways, in Nigeria’s southern Rivers state on April 12, 2011
LAGOS (AFP) – Royal Dutch Shell has raised an alarm over the continuing siege at a Nigerian facility by protesters, saying they could be putting their safety at risk.

Hundreds of protesters from the Kula and Belema communities in Nigeria’s restless southern Rivers state have occupied the plant since August 11 to press their demands for jobs and better living conditions.

“The illegal occupation of Belema Flow Station and Gas Plant in Rivers State has safety implications both for the people at the facilities and nearby communities,” the company’s Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company, said in a statement on Sunday.

It said it was “deeply concerned that unauthorised persons, including women and children, have been observed in close proximity to equipment that processes crude oil and gas without the protection of safety clothing.”

Shell said the occupation “exposes people at the plant to higher safety risks as anything could trigger a spill or fire with potentially serious consequences.”

The company said it had not been able to gain access to the plant since the seizure, and called on the protesters to leave.

The protesters also want Shell to shift the operation of the plant to a local company.

“We want Shell to hand over the operations of the flow station to Belema Oil Company because it appreciates our challenges and needs,” community leader Godson Egbelekro told AFP.

The plant transports crude oil to the Bonny Light export terminal, which has a production capacity of 225,000 barrels per day.

In 1993, Shell was forced to quit operation in Ogoniland because of community unrest, but the company still runs a network of pipelines in the area.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer with some two million barrels per day, relies on the sector for 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings and 70 percent of government revenue.

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Protestors occupy Shell plant in Nigeria

August 12, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Although Shell was forced to quit oil production in the area in 1993, the company still runs a network of pipelines criss-crossing the area

WARRI (NIGERIA) (AFP) – Hundreds of protesters have occupied a Nigerian oil facility owned by Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, demanding that a local company take over its operations, a community leader said Saturday.

“We want Shell to hand over the operations of the flow station to Belema Oil Company because it appreciates our challenges and needs,” community leader Godson Egbelekro told AFP.

Protesters from the Kula and Belema community in Nigeria’s restive southern Rivers state said the community has suffered through decades of poverty and neglect.

At the same time they say the owners and workers of multinational oil firms operating in the area are living a life of affluence thanks to abundant oil and gas resources.

“We will be here for as long as it takes until Shell meets our demands,” youth leader Alfred Epedi said, adding that “over 800 protesters” were occupying the flow station.

Security guards at the facility did not try to disperse the crowd as it entered the flow station on Friday.

The station, operated by Shell subsidiary the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), feeds crude oil into its Bonny Light export terminal, which has a production capacity of 225,000 barrels per day of oil.

The flow station’s output remained slow on Saturday.

Company officials “have been engaging representatives of the community (in) talks but nothing tangible has come out from the said talks,” Epedi said.

In a statement, SPDC spokesman Joseph Obari denied the protesters’ allegations of neglect and said the company was working to resolve the situation.

The company “has spent several millions of naira on social investment projects and university scholarship programmes for students of the area,” Obari said.

“SPDC has informed the authorities of the illegal occupation and is working towards resuming safe operations,” he added.

Community unrest in Ogoniland, in Nigeria’s oil rich south, is not uncommon.

Although Shell was forced to quit oil production in the area in 1993, the company still runs a network of pipelines criss-crossing the area.

In July, SPDC had to shut down its Trans Niger pipeline because of a “leak” — the preferred euphemism in Nigeria for crude oil theft.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and exporter, accounting for some two million barrels per day. It relies on the sector for 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings and 70 percent of government revenue.