Oil production to begin in Ogoni by October
Amid resistance, crude oil production will commence in Ogoni area of OML 11, as the Presidency recently directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to takeover operations from Shell.
The Ogoni re-entry plan, which the Movement of the Survival of the Ogoni Peoples, activists and elders vowed to resist, will be funded from the proposed 2019 NNPC, Shell, Agip and Total joint venture budget.
An NPDC Ogoni re-entry execution plan and first cost summary obtained by The Guardian revealed that the Federal Government and its joint venture partners intend to commence crude oil and gas production in Korokoro in Ogoni area of OML 11 by October, if the proposed contracting and procurement plan that has commenced are fast tracked.
From Korokoro, the NPDC and its joint partners will then proceed to other communities such as Yorla, Ebubu, Bodo and Bomu, among others.The Ogoni fields were producing an average of 130,000 barrels of crude oil per day as at May 1993, when community resistance, led by MOSOP forced Shell and its joint partners to quit the area. Ogoni fields are estimated to have proven reserve of over two billion stock tank barrels.
NPDC has identified Bomu with 52 oil wells, Ebubu (17 wells), Tai (13 wells), Yorla (14 wells), Bodo West (12 wells) and Korokoro (10 wells) as major fields of interest.
In the strategic plan, the 15-page document revealed that Ogoni-re-entry will proceed in a field-by-field manner, and the field with the most receptive community will be re-entered first, as incentive to other communities to accept the re-entry proposals.
Part of the palliatives planned by NPDC to gain acceptability is the construction of community access roads and well, as well as facilities access roads. Other measures are provision of security booths, fencing, surveillance and grass cutting contracts, which will be ceded to community contractors.
The NPDC said due to security challenges in the Niger Delta, the mobilisation for the re-entry will be holistic, as it intends to engage the community through the Federal Government, with assurance that crude oil production will be carried out in a responsible manner.
Ogoni elders, under the aegis of the Gbo Kaabari Ogoni, had petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari to halt planned resumption of crude oil and gas production in Ogoni without due consultation in order to avert bloodbath in the area.
Gbo Kaabari Ogoni chairman and secretary, Senator Bennett Birabi and Dr. Desmond Nbete said government must bear in mind that oil activities in Ogoni and OML 11 have a unique history that cannot be wished away by an executive fiat for a restart of oil production and production activities, without duly engaging the people in a proper and painstaking conversation.
They said: “Production activities in OML 11 stopped about 29 years ago, and in line with industries practices, such fields like OML 11 ought to be treated as green fields and not brown fields. It is thus not acceptable to summarily commission an early production facility to start oil production, without necessary procedures and approvals for a green field development.”The group accused NPDC of acting contrary to the Department of Petroleum Resources guidelines, by not carrying an environmental impact assessment requirement for oil and gas field development.
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