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SPDC Operated Joint Venture Secures Wells in Ogoni Area

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) joint venture is completing a programme in the Ogoni area, Rivers State, to make all its wells less vulnerable to oil theft and third party interference which account for most of oil spills in the area.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) joint venture is completing a programme in the Ogoni area, Rivers State, to make all its wells less vulnerable to oil theft and third party interference which account for most of oil spills in the area.

There has been no production from oil fields in Ogoni since 1993 when SPDC withdrew its staff in the face of community unrest and violence and ceased production. At that time it was not safe for staff to fully secure wells, which is SPDC’s normal practice when it ceases production from wells and other facilities.

Some 112 wells are covered by the Ogoni programme which started in 2005 in the Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State. Access difficulties and security concerns have delayed the programme but recent improvements in security and support from local governments and traditional rulers have allowed the project to progress. 

So far, all the 98 wells in the land area of Ogoni have been successfully secured, while the last of the 14 swamp wells are scheduled for completion in October 2010.

Managing Director of SPDC Mutiu Sunmonu said: “This is a major step forward in our campaign to reduce spills and fires caused by crude theft and sabotage of wellheads. Progress on the remaining work can only be sustained as long as we have access and security conditions are right. We are grateful to the Rivers State Government and Eleme, Tai, Gokana and Khana local government councils, as well as traditional rulers, for their efforts in securing access.”

Since 1993, 96% of all oil spills from SPDC facilities in Ogoni have been due to sabotage or theft, which remains the dominant cause for oil spills throughout the Niger Delta.

Last year, some 98% of oil spilled from SPDC operations across the Niger Delta was the result of theft, vandalism or other third party interference.

The shareholders of the joint venture are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (55%), SPDC Ltd (30%), Total E&P Nigeria Limited (10%) and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (5%).