The Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN) has asked ExxonMobil to as a matter of urgency clean up what it called ”environmental hazards caused by oil spill occurring from the company’s actvities.
Ekong also called on ExxonMobil to urgently do thorough clean up of oil spill that allegedly occurred on July 2 at the shores of Ibeno, where its facilities are located.
But in a separate interview with NAN, Mr Ogechukwu Udeagha, Manager, Media and Communications of the company said there were no evidence of any spill from ExxonMobil facilities as alleged by Ekong.
He said, “There is no evidence to support the claim and none of its activities has been reported to having the potential to spill as was being alleged.”
He restated the company’s continued commitment to maintaining high safety, health and environmental standards in its operations, as well as to the well being of the host communities.
Ekong had also said that urgent clean-up of the alleged spill by ExxonMobil would restore the livelihood of fishermen in the area,” he said.
He also said that after a thorough clean up exercise, the affected fishermen would be compelled to stay off the water for three months for proper restoration to take place.
He explained that fishermen were the worst hit whenever oil spills occurred, adding that the development had caused scarcity and increase in the prices of fish in the state.
Ekong alleged that the spill affected the livelihood of fishermen who stayed at the fishing communities for one month without going for fishing.
He also alleged that the communities and fishermen suffered the impact of oil spill without due compensation paid by the multinational oil company.
He said, “Whenever there is oil spill in the state, there will be no catch. The impact damages the fishing nets.
“Once the oil touches the nets, the fish get scared and run to other neighbouring countries.”
He further called on the multinational oil company “to pay compensation to fishermen and affected communities, as it is done in foreign countries and not to pay palliatives.
“It is their duty to compensate fishermen so that we have something to depend on, before the water can be restored again and the fish come back.
“This is rainy season that we are supposed to catch fish but we are at home due to oil spill from ExxonMobil facilities.”
He also urged the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Petroleum and the National Oil Spill Detection and Regulatory Agency, to sanction oil companies found guilty of oil spill.
“We have been complaining to Nigerians. We have written series of letters, we have talked to leaders of National Assembly, House of Representatives to no avail,” Ekong said.
Ministers: MOMAN, IPMAN task Sylva on passage of PIGB
Oil marketers on Wednesday urged the newly appointed Minster of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipire Sylva, to push for the passage of the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB) in order to put the industry on a sound footing.
The marketers, under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), made the call in a separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.
Oyebanji urged Sylva to foster industrial peace in the sector and focus on refining crude directly or through collaboration with private entities.
He said: “We believe he should build on the foundation already laid and push for the passage of the PIGB and also develop a plan for the deregulation of the downstream sector.
” We urge the minister to put in place an enabling environment for massive investment in the upstream to increase production and reserves and close collaboration with private sector to take the industry higher.
“We congratulate and welcome him to the new job. We wish him a successful tenure and God’s guidance based on his vast experience.
“The little I know of him suggests he is a very calm, deep, intelligent and cerebral person. We urge him to have good relationship with the unions.”
Oyebanji, who is also the Managing Director, 11Plc, said Sylva’s excellent international connections following his wide experience as former executive governor of an oil producing state was also an asset.
“We look forward to him to further stabilising the upstream sector and getting competitive terms in place to ensure investment continues to flow into the sector,” he added.
Also, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, National President of IPMAN, urged the minister and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) management to build on the structure of the NNPC to make it competitive globally and give targets to all subsidiaries.
Okoronkwo advised Sylva to put in place performance benchmarks and fix all refineries to ensure that they work at optimal level, “even if it means using expatriates in the interim’’.
He, however, lauded the efforts of Buhari in selecting an experienced professional that could effectively institute the right reform urgently needed in the industry.
According to him, the new minister has the task of revamping the industry and repositioning the sector to meet international standard.
He expressed optimism that Sylva would bring his vast experience acquired over the years in both private and public sectors of the oil industry to bear on this new assignment as minster.
Okoronkwo, however, urged the minister to prove his competency by justifying the confidence reposed in him.
Similarly, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) commended Buhari over Sylva’s appointment.
Mr Olufemi Adewole, Executive Secretary of the association, in a statement, said DAPPMAN would continue to support the government and work with the new minister to churn out policies that would be beneficial to the nation’s economy.
He said : “We will support him in the efforts to lift the petroleum downstream sector to greater heights.
“We wish him God’s guidance at all times and a successful tenure.”
Edited by Wale Ojetimi
Minister pledges to work for better oil, gas sector
The newly inaugurated Minister of State, Petroleum, Mr Timipre Silva, has pledged his readiness to work with all to ensure a viable oil and gas sector.
Silva made this known when he was received by the Permanent Secretary, Directors and heads of all the Parastatal agencies under the ministry, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
“Thank you for the warm welcome, I will definitely put in my best and work hard to help in repositioning of the ministry.
“I know that the president will give me some mandate and with the competent managers of all the offices, we will work together to achieve greater heights,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the permanent Secretary assured the minister that they would work as a team noting that the ministry had no choice than to work hard.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Port Harcourt in 1986.
He began his working career with National Minority Business Council as Executive Secretary before his foray into politics and subsequent election into Rivers State House of Assembly in 1991.
He was elected Governor of Bayelsa in 2007.
Before his nomination as Minister he was Chairman, Governing Board of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority.
Edited by Donald Ugwu
Shell says crude set ablaze at Kolo Creek not from its operations
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) says that the fire outbreak from a stockpile of crude in two communities in Ogbia, Bayelsa, did not come from its operations.
He said that the company had no knowledge of the fire outbreak on Kolo Creek at Emeyal 1 and 2 communities.
The fire ignited by unknown person on layers of crude on the Kolo Creek waters burnt for several hours on Sunday which compelled residents to flee the area.
Odugbesan said that the incident had no link with the operations of the oil firm.
“There is no such incident in our facility. However, SPDC will continue to undertake initiatives to prevent and minimise spills caused by oil theft and sabotage of its facilities in the Niger Delta,” Odugbesan said.
Mr Jasmin Okar, a resident of kolo, told NAN that efforts by residents to put out the fire were frustrated by the swampy terrain which made it impossible for them to intervene.
He said that members of the community watched helplessly as the crude burnt out on the surface of the waters.
“It is the water channel that has been blocked by debris from the Orashi River, the crude oil comes from sites where they do illegal oil refining activities very far from Emeyal.
“Due to the blockage of the channel the crude piles up and forms layers and it caught fire in a strange way and we placed a distress call but the fire service did not respond.
“It got to a stage where the residents near the fire started moving away but we thank God that it burnt out,” Okar said.
Expatriates in oil, gas sector reduced by 80% – NCDMB Executive Secretary
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote, says that the number of expatriates working in the Nigerian oil and gas sector has been reduced by 80 per cent.
Wabote disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at the NCDMB’s third quarter engagement with the media, which focused on the major achievements of the board.
“From 2010 till date, the board has reduced the number of expatriates in the Nigerian petroleum industry by 80 per cent.
“ Nigerians now occupy key positions and deliver critical services in the industry,’’ he said.
The executive secretary said that before the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, oil welding activities were done outside Nigeria because of lack of world-class welding facilities.
“Today, we are fabricating about 60,000 metric tonnes per annum in Nigeria, which never existed before.
“We have about five world-class welding yards as we speak today. These welding facilities can compete with any of their peers outside the country.
“Today, 95 per cent of service companies in the oil and gas sector, be it onshore and swamp drilling activities, well intervention facilities, well simulation activities and others, are being done by Nigerians.
“These used to be the exclusive preserve of multinational companies like Schlumberger, Haliburton and others; but Nigerians have taken all those responsibilities in the land and swamp areas, especially in the area of drilling,’’ he said.
On the operations of the upstream sector, Wabote noted that in the past, it was the multinationals that were operating all the existing fields.
He, however, said that Nigerians were now operating those fields which accounted for between 25 percent and 30 percent of oil production in the country, aside domestic gas production.
The executive secretary also said that margin fields were currently being produced by Nigerian companies, adding molecules to oil production.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
NNPC, NSCDC strengthen partnership to curb pipeline vandalism
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have pledged to work together to checkmate the activities of pipeline vandals and oil thieves in the country.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, gave the assurance when he received the Commandant-General of NSCDC, Abdullahi Muhammadu, at the NNPC Towers.
A statement issued by the NNPC Spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, on Monday in Abuja noted that Kyari was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr Adeyemi Adetunji.
He said that as part of efforts to rid the nation of the menace of pipeline vandals, the new NNPC management was putting in place a performance-based pipeline protection system to enable relevant security stakeholders live up to their billings.
Kyari noted that the collaboration between NNPC and NSCDC had gone a long way in ensuring uninterrupted supply and distribution of petroleum products through the pipelines and various depots.
“I want to applaud the NSCDC for contributing its quota towards the protection and security of our pipelines.
“Your efforts have made our pipelines to be available for the movement of petroleum products from one petroleum asset to another,” he said.
Earlier, the NSCDC boss said that the protection and security of NNPC pipelines and oil assets were part of the constitutional responsibilities of the corps.
Muhammadu, who was also represented by the Deputy Commandant-General, Aminu Abdullahi, reassured the corporation that NSCDC would continue to do its best to send pipeline vandals out of business.
He said that the corps would soon set aside a day in the year that would be known as ‘Anti-pipeline Vandalism Day’ as part of efforts to create more awareness on the dangers of pipeline vandalism to the nation’s economy.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq