Energy

Protesters occupy Shell’s flow station, gas plant in Rivers

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited-operated Joint Venture, on Friday, said its Belema flow station and gas plant had been illegally occupied by some persons.

The oil major said in a statement that it had informed the authorities of the illegal occupation and was working towards resuming safe operations.

It said its commitment to the welfare of host communities in the Niger Delta remained unshaken.

The SPDC denied allegations of neglect of communities in Kula Kingdom and Belema in Rivers State, saying it had implemented a Global

Memorandum of Understanding in the area that led to a wide variety of social investment projects including university scholarships awards.

According to the statement, the Rivers State Government initiated a mediation process for the resolution of the disagreements in the community which had resulted in the creation of the Kula Project Implementation and Monitoring Committee in 2012.

It said the PIMC served as an interim platform for the delivery of social investment initiatives and programmes worth N263m in the Soku-San Berth Project.

“These projects are separate from the GMoU projects initiated by communities using funds provided by the SPDC JV,” the oil major said.

It said a GMoU was eventually signed in 2014 for the Kula Cluster but had not been implemented because of continuing intra-community disagreements.

The SPDC said as of 2015, there were 11 court cases involving different groups with SPDC as a co-defendant in all of them.

“Sadly, these law suits and disputes have rendered it impossible to implement more planned development projects in the affected communities,” said SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, while commenting on the allegations of neglect.

“Notwithstanding that SPDC has divested its equity in OML 24, which covers most of the communities in Kula and Belema, the SPDC JV has continued to implement agreed Social Investment programmes such as scholarship and entrepreneurship schemes for the communities there.”

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