OML-25: Host Communities Accuse Shell of Frustrating Belema Flow Station Re-entry

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Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Host communities of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 25 in Kula Kingdom of Rivers State have accused the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of frustrating efforts to resume production at the Belema Flow Station.

Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, traditional rulers of Kula Kingdom in Akukutoru Local Government Area of Rivers lamented that one year after an elaborate ceremony to celebrate the re-entry of oil firms to Belema Flow Station.

Spokesman of the Kula Council of Traditional Rulers, Chief Fiala Okoye-Davies, alleged that the SPDC reneged on the agreements and terms reached by parties before the reopening of the flow station in October 2019.

He further alleged that SPDC had been frustrating efforts by stakeholders to resume production in the facility, adding that the nation was losing much revenue from the absence of production in the oil field.

Okoye-Davies called on the federal government to intervene and prevail on the multinational oil company to conclude its part of the agreement for the resumption of production in the facility.

He said: “We are aware that the trio of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, the Shell Petroleum Development Company and Belemaoil Producing Limited have had several meetings in a bid to resolve the issues that resulted to the face-off between SPDC and its host communities.

“It is interesting to note that while our position regarding our confidence in the federal government to resolve the issues remain sacrosanct, we are minded to warn against various tactics and antics of SPDC to cause confusion and crisis again in our peaceful Kula Kingdom.

“We wish to make this clarion call on the federal government and security agencies to prevail in SPDC to desist from whatever alliance with some renegades of Kula Kingdom, and ensure a conclusion of the ongoing discussion with the federal government and Belemaoil on behalf of the communities for the re-entry of OML-25.

“We are today making this call to put these issues formally on and to thank His Excellency, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, for his anticipated understanding and cooperation.”

When contacted, SPDC spokesman, Bamidele Odugbesan, said the company would not respond to the allegation by the host communities.
However, a source in the company said there is a structure recognised by all stakeholders including the NNPC, the Minister of State for Petroleum, and others to dialogue with and all groups are talking with that group.