Monday, June 29, 2009

Shell suspends operations in Nigeria

Shell has decided to suspend operations in Nigeria. According to a Shell top official,  the reason for the suspension is due to five major militant attacks on Utorogu-UPS trunk line on January 7; the Amukpe-Rapele manifold attack of January 11; the Trans Escravos-Forcados River manifold attack of February 28; the Trans-Forcados pipeline (Chanomi Creek manifold) attack of June 12; and the militant attack on Trans Ramos pipeline on June 16.

The Shell official added "These (suspension of operations) will impact on contractors; it will impact on Federal Government revenues and it will impact on our revenues."

Here are parts of a confidential document from Shell pertaining to the suspension of operations in Nigeira:

"As always, the safety of our staff and contractors is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation and continue to take all necessary measures to ensure their safety. We have evacuated non-essential staff from key facilities in the western Niger Delta in order to ensure their safety, and regrettably, this means that our community development projects in the Western Niger Delta are slowing down.

"With increasing attacks in the field, it is very unsafe for staff and contractor personnel to maintain production and also implement community development projects. It is obvious that community development projects cannot continue in this atmosphere. This does not lessen our commitment to these projects, but we will not put our staff and contractors in unnecessary danger.

"We have made good progress in the recovery of production in the Western Niger Delta over the last one year but recent attacks by militants have resulted in substantial production losses and impacted progress on this project. The production from EA field (115,000barrels per day) remains shut since early 2006 and we have no firm date for resumption of operations. We are engaging the Delta State Government, contractors and communities. We remain committed to working with the government and local communities, but as always in everywhere we operate, the safety of our staff and contractors is the top priority of SPDC.

"We will continue to assess the security situation based on information at our disposal, and input from relevant authorities, law enforcement agencies, and local people. We will resume operations, only when careful considerations of security and safety of people indicate it is safe for us to do so."


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