ChinaView.cn: Nigerian oil communities give Shell ultimatum on road project: “Twelve Nigerian communities in the restive oil-rich Niger Delta region have given oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell up to Dec. 31 to start work on an abandoned road or face a showdown, the News Agency of Nigeria reported Sunday.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 20 Dec 04
LAGOS, (Xinhuanet) -- Twelve Nigerian communities in the restive oil-rich Niger Delta region have given oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell up to Dec. 31 to start work on an abandoned road or face a showdown, the News Agency of Nigeria reported Sunday.
The report quoted Danfebo Kieriseiye Derri, chairman of the Otuegila-Nembe road project forum steering committee, as saying that the affected communities had resolved that if Shell's Nigerian subsidiary, SPDC, failed to start work on the road, they would stop the company's operations in the area.
SPDC accounts for about half of Nigeria's oil production, which currently stands at 2.5 million barrels of crude per day.
"If the company failed to respond to the ultimatum, it would be interpreted to mean that it was no longer interested in its oil and gas operations in the 12 host communities," Derri said.
The communities are from Abual-Odual council area in Rivers state and Nembe and Ogbia local governments in Bayelsa state. Boththe states are located in the Niger Delta region, where the majority of African top crude exporter's oil are produced.
The news agency said SPDC conducted preliminary studies on the 42 km Otuegila-Nembe road, including environmental impact assessment since 2001, but later abandoned the project.
Shell and US-based ChevronTexaco have been forced to shut down five flow stations in Rivers state after hundreds of angry local villagers demanding jobs briefly besieged them early this month. The incident led to a daily 120,000 cut in oil production.
The people in the Niger Delta region are on bad terms with the oil companies and usually accuse them of environmental degradation and not doing anything to develop the impoverished area, and therefore demand compensation through seizures of oil flow stations, kidnapping of oil workers and threat of violence.
In April, seven people were killed in an attack in the region as they inspected oil facilities abandoned last year.