The Bayelsa State House of Assembly and the Nembe Community have warned the Federal Government against the sale of the 97-kilometre Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) owned by the Shell Production Development Company (SPDC) without the peoples’ participation, describing such move as â€œvexatious”, as well as a “ticking bomb” waiting to explode.
The Assembly in a motion moved by the Leader of the House, Peter Akpe unanimously adopted and called on the multinationals oil companies operating in the region to allow the oil bearing communities in the state equity participate in the bidding and sales and ownership of the oil facilities.
The House is of the opinion that even though the bidding process for oil and gas assets in the state has attracted numerous interest, the International Oil Companies (IOC) working in the Bayelsa territory involved in the bidding and selling process of assets should give opportunity and priority attention to the Bayelsa State Government and it’s indigenes to fully partake in the divestment process.
Meanwhile Oil bearing Communities in Nembe Kingdom in Nembe Local Government Council Area of the State have warned that they would no longer be taken for granted in oil related matters.
The Oil and Gas Committee of the Kingdom headed by Chief Nengi James warned that failure of the SPDC to allow leaders from Nembe communities led by his Royal Majesty, King Edmund Dakoru to have equal participation in the bidding process to acquire the oil facility will trigger crises in the area.
Confirming the position of the Nembe Community Indigenes on the existing Nembe Oil field 1,2,3 and 4 put for sale by the SPDC, James said though preliminary investigation have shown that some highly placed individuals in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) have concluded plans to exclude the oil communities from the bidding and sales processes, the communities have issued a warning that the prospective buyers should beware.
He added: “If the communities in Nembe Kingdom are not allowed to participate in the bidding and sales of their Oil facilities, they can not guarantee the eventual buyers of proper security on the facility and their investments. What we are demanding is that the buyer must consult and include the oil communities, as owners, in the bidding processes. The King of Nembe must lead the people in this fair process.
“Some people can not stay in Abuja and unilaterally approve sales of oil facilities owned by the Nembe people. We will resist every attempt to sell without the knowledge of the people. The buyer must allow the community with at least 20 per cent equity participation in the process and proceeds.”
With no end in sight to losses arising from crude oil theft and persistent destruction of its pipelines and facilities in the Niger Delta, SPDC had decided to sell its 97-kilometre NCTL.
The decision to sell NCTL is coming barely three years after the Anglo/Dutch multinational replaced the trunkline with a new line at the cost of $1.1billion, as a result of persistent attacks by oil thieves who drill holes into the pipeline, resulting in extensive damage to the environment.
The NCTL and the Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP) are two of the companyâ€™s major pipelines in the Eastern Niger Delta that transport some 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Shellâ€™s fields and third parties in its Eastern operations to the Bonny Export Terminal in Rivers State.
Specifically, the NCTL transports crude oil from 14 oil pumping stations located in Nembe Creek, Krakama, Awoba, Ekulama and San Bartholomew oil fields and transports it to the Cawthorne Channel field and Shellâ€™s Bonny Export Terminal for export.
Nigeriaâ€™s indigenous oil services company, Nestoil, executed part of the new NCTL project in 2010, which turned out to be the largest single project under SPDCâ€™s asset integrity programme that had led to the replacement of over 1,000 kilometres of major pipelines and flowlines in the last eight years.
The new NCTL consists of five kilometres of a 12-inch diameter pipeline from the Nembe Creek III manifold to the Nembe Creek tie-in manifold; 44 kilometres of a 24-inch diameter pipeline from Nembe Creek to San Bartholomew; and 46 kilometres of a 30-inch diameter pipeline from San Bartholomew to Cawthorne Channel.