Military arrests Rivers community leader for alleged unlawful shutdown of oil wells

The joint military force in the Niger Delta known as ‘Operation Delta Safe’ has confirmed the arrest of a community leader in Ogba Ndoni Egbema local council, Rivers State, Mr. Chikeobi Alali for unlawful closure of 11 oil wells belonging to Agip.

The wells were shut down by the host community over unresolved issues they have with the oil company.The community accused Agip of failing to review a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two parties.

The spokesman of the military outfit, Major Abdullahi Abubakar condemned the action of the community, saying it is wrong to take laws into their hands. He added that troops in the area had reinforced security around the oilfield and re-opened the facilities for operations.

According to her: “My husband was arrested by soldiers and taken away. When we traced them to the headquarters in Yenagoa, they feigned ignorance of his detention. After much pressure, they admitted that he is in their custody but I was denied access to him.”

“Efforts by his family and lawyer to secure his bail has been unsuccessful. My husband is the chairman of the local council oil and gas landlords association, he was arrested with the secretary and one other person. The others have since been released.”

Reacting to the issue, a social activist, Mr. Pat Obiene, called for immediate release of the community leader.“This is counter-productive and not in line with the peace initiative of the Federal Government. The military should promote dialogue which the Vice President preached during his recent tour to the region,” Obiene said.

Meanwhile, the former Provisional Council Chairman of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) and a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ben Naanen, says the government needs extraordinary measures to check oil theft.

Naanen spoke at the National Conference on Oil Theft and Illegal Artisanal Refineries in Nigeria, organised by Social Action in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.He said government has not done enough to stop oil theft by enforcing the existing anti-bunkering laws.

“The issue of illegal and artisanal refinery would be difficult to eradicate from the Niger Delta, except the government deals with poverty, rehabilitation and empowerment of youths in the area,” he added.


Source: The Guardian

EFCC files corruption charges against Shell, Eni over $1.3 billion offshore block deal

Nigeria’s anti-graft agency on Thursday filed corruption charges against oil majors Shell and Eni over a $1.3 billion offshore block deal.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused 11 defendants of “official corruption”, according to court documents.

Shell, Eni and Agip, Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary, are alleged to have corruptly given the “aggregate sum of $801 million” to Nigerian businessmen and politicians. This is the latest probe into the controversial 2011 oil deal that highlights endemic corruption within the sector.

Italian prosecutors are also looking into the purchase of the OPL 245 block prospecting license. OPL 245 is located in deep offshore waters in the Gulf of Guinea estimated to hold at least 9 billion barrels of crude reserves.Oil majors Shell and Eni have both denied wrongdoing.

“Eni did not do anything wrong,” said the chief executive of Eni Claudio Descalzi to the Financial Times in February.

“At every stage, we have acted in compliance with all applicable law?.?.?.?Eni and Shell paid the government of Nigeria, and were not involved with the government decision on how to use such money.”

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari secured a historic first win for an opposition leader when he defeated Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential elections. He campaigned on a platform to target rampant corruption and has said “mind-boggling” sums have been stolen from the public purse.

His government has arrested a series of high-ranking officials from Jonathan’s administration on corruption charges but few have been convicted.


Source: The Guardian

Malabu: Eni denies involvement in ‘corrupt conduct’, clears CEO.

ENI, also known as the Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, has said the transactions leading up to the auctioning of $1,616,690,656.78 Malabu oil block were not fraudulent.

The board of directors of the oil firm made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

ENI said that an independent US law firm had conducted forensic investigations into the block and returned a “not guilty verdict”.

It said that neither the company nor its CEO Claudio Descalzi were involved in alleged illicit conduct.

“Eni’s Board of Directors today takes note of the outcome of further forensic investigations into the 2011 transaction between Eni and Shell and the Nigerian Government for the acquisition of the OPL 245 licence in Nigeria,” the statement read.

“The investigations were conducted by an independent US law firm. They were commissioned by Eni’s Board of Statutory Auditors and Watch Structure.

“The investigations examined the new materials and further information filed by the Milan prosecutors as part of the closure of the investigation in December 2016.

“The law firm confirms the conclusions reached by previous investigations in 2015, stating that there is no evidence of corrupt conduct in relation to the transaction. Eni’s Board of Directors confirmed its total confidence that neither the company nor its CEO Claudio Descalzi were involved in alleged illicit conduct under investigation.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in response to a court order, had seized the oil block pending the conclusion of investigation of the deal.

The oil firms are Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO), Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.


Source: The Cable

Agip pipeline explosion victims’ families accuse company of neglect

The families of victims of the pipeline explosion at the Agip Oilfield in Azuzuama community in Bayelsa State have accused the company of neglect.

They accused the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, operators of the oilfield, of being insensitive to their plights.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that a pipeline explosion in the Southern Ijaw Local Government community on July 9, 2015 left 14 people dead.

A regulatory official of the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment and National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency was among the dead victims.

NAN said that officials of NAOC, representatives of the host community and the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment were investigating the cause of an oil spill in the area when the blast occurred.

The Director-General of NOSDRA, Dr. Peter Idabor, had bemoaned the poor safety procedures at Agip’s oilfields which resulted in the death of its worker and an official of the ministry.

“It is a painful experience to us in NOSDRA. We have informed the families of the affected employees who hailed from Enugu State.

“We are talking with the Bayelsa State Government that also lost an employee from its Ministry of Environment.

“This incident shows the kind of risks and hazards that our officers are constantly exposed to in the discharge of our mandate at oilfields, amidst daunting challenges and limitations,” Idabor said.

Some of the family members of the victims of the blast said that they were still feeling the pains of the loss.

They blamed Agip for neglecting the dependants of the victims.

Mr. Clinton Italia, a relative of one of the victims, told NAN on Wednesday that all that the family got was an N800,000 burial assistance and N7.4m interim palliative.

“Life has been difficult and painful for the families of the victims at Azuzuama.

“Apart from the burial assistance and the sum of N7.4m, nothing has been done to the oilfield to forestall future repetition of the accident.

“The dependants of the deceased feel abandoned as Agip has yet to pay the main compensation.

“We have waited for the compensation and other promises they made to no avail and we are looking at ways of taking up the case with them,’’ Italia said.

Mr. Karibi MacDonald, the spokesman for the bereaved families, also said in Yenagoa that Agip had neither shown remorse nor commiserated with the families of the victims.

“It is very unfortunate that Agip is so insensitive to the needless death of 14 Nigerians due to the poor safety records in their oilfields.

“There has been no contact with us – the relatives of late staff of the Bayelsa State environment ministry.

“The stance of Agip, since this incident occurred, has been regrettable.

“They have not bothered to contact us even during the burial of the victims. When my own brother was buried, we did not see Agip.

“It is very sad that a foreign company can be this arrogant, be shying away from its liability and could not commiserate with the bereaved families.”

However, Eni, the Italian Energy firm and the parent company of NAOC, in a reaction to the claims of neglect, said in a brief email response that its Nigerian operations had assisted 12 families of the victims of the blast.

Reacting, the Media Relations Manager of Agip, Mr. Filipo Cotalini, was however silent on the allegations of unsafe oilfield practices, which reportedly resulted in the death of 20 people within one year of the firm’s oil block operation in Bayelsa.

“Twelve out of 14 families have received support from NAOC.

“For the remaining two families, the process is in progress and will be completed very soon,” Eni stated.

Another 140,000 bpd Shut In As Agip, AITEO Close Operations In Bayelsa

Nigeria’s crude oil production capacity has again dropped by 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the renewed activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a new militant group in the country’s Delta region.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported in Abuja yesterday that while the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has shut its Bayelsa production facility which produces 65,000bpd, indigenous operator, Aiteo, which operates the Nembe Creek Trunk Line, has also stopped its 75,000bpd facility in Bayelsa.

According to the agency, earlier attacks on NAOC oilfield on May 18 and 24 resulted in the shutdown of some 5,200 barrels of its equity share of oil output.

It said a spokesperson for Agip confirmed the development in a short e-mail response to it.

“The total deferred production due to the attack is 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily,” read the e-mail sent to NAN.

It further said: “I can confirm that. There is no further impact on production, since all production from the swamp area has already been stopped days ago.”

According to crude production figures provided by the oil firm, the country is losing about $3.12 million in revenue each day its facility remains out of production.

Also, Shola Omole, spokesman for Aiteo, said the Nembe Creek Trunk Line, which conveyed crude to Bonny export terminal but came under attack by NDA on May 28, had been shut.

Omole explained that 75,000bpd of oil was deferred as the line remained out of service.

Credit: Thisday

3 Killed, 7 Injured As Explosion Rocks Agip Pipeline

Three persons were yesterday burnt beyond recognition and seven others sustained various degrees of burns following an explosion that hit the pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Olugboboro community in Olodiama clan of Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State.

The explosion,which occurred on Easter Sunday while some technical staff of an Oil contacting firm known as Maco Marine,were working to clamp a ruptured section of the Agip Pipeline,was brought under control on  Monday.

Three of the victims, including an underwater welder identified as  Nelson Negibo,were burnt beyond recognition and their corpses recovered on Monday after the fire subsided.

Two of the victims were further identified as indigenes of Ada-ma in Twon-Brass of Brass local government area of the state.

Most of the victims with various degrees of burns, according to community sources, have been flown to various clinics in Bayelsa and Rivers States.

Confirming the incident, the state coordinator of the environmental group known as Environmental Right Action (ERA),Comrade Morris Alagoa,described the incident as a shocking and tragic.

Credit: Leadership

Troops Arrest Mastermind Of Agip Pipelines Bombing

Troops of the Joint Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, say they have arrested the suspected mastermind of the bombing of pipelines belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Bayelsa State.

Agip oil pipelines located in Orukari, Golubokiri and Kpongbokiri communities of Brass Local Government Area of the state had been bombed on January 28.

The dynamite attacks on the pipelines had resulted in massive spillage of crude oil from the Agip pipelines into the sea and fishing camps.

But on Wednesday, the Commander, OPS, Maj.-Gen. Alani Okunlola, in a statement by the Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Col. Ado Isa, said their troops arrested the mastermind of the attack.

Okunlola gave the name of the mastermind as Prince Alvin Cockman Oyegun,   alias ‘Commander Abula’.

The OPS commander said the suspect was arrested at Idema community in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.

He said the suspect allegedly masterminded the attack on the Agip manifold located at Gbobokiri in Brass LGA of Bayelsa State on January 28, 2016, which led to oil spillage in the area.

Okunlola said the manifold that was attacked was a 24-inch manifold that conveyed crude oil and gas.

He added that the hunt for other suspects and accomplices was ongoing.

The OPS commander warned all miscreants engaged in the destruction of oil installations to desist from such criminal acts.

Credit: Punch

Gunmen Blow Up Agip Gas Pipeline Over Suspect’s Arrest

A group of armed men believed to be cultists have blown up a gas facility in Akala Olu village, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State for the arrest and continued detention of a suspect, Mr. Emmanuel Odum.
The attack on the gas facility, according to a statement signed by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 2 Brigade in Port Harcourt, Captain Eli Lazarus, disrupted production activities of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company.
The suspected cultists believed to be members of Icelander cult group had demanded the release of Odum, who was said to be currently undergoing interrogation for his alleged involvement in pipeline vandalisation and cult-related activities.
The statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday indicated that the vandals and suspected cultists had also threatened to carry out further attacks on oil and gas installations unless their demands were met.
“In the early hours of Sunday February 7, 2016, pipeline vandals destroyed a gas facility in Akala Olu village in Oshie community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, thereby disrupting the production activities of Nigeria Agip Oil Company.
“The vandals threatened to carry out further acts of vandalism unless their demands are met. The vandals are suspected members of Icelander cult group.
“The group demanded for the release of a detained suspect; one Mr. Emmanuel Odum currently undergoing interrogation in connection with pipeline vandalism and cult related activities,” the statement read.
Credit: Punch