International oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region have vowed not to leave Nigeria even as the Niger Delta Avengers launched sustained bombing of their installations and asked them to leave the country.
Though, some of the companies are said to be planing to reduce production shut-ins, particularly in areas that are worst hit by the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
On Friday, the NDA bombed a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The group had carried out series of bombings that had reduced Nigeria’s crude oil production by close to one million barrels per day, and had rebuffed any discussion with the Federal Government on ways to address its grievances.
A senior official of one of the affected oil majors operating in the Niger Delta said that although the bombings have shown no sign of stopping, his firm had yet to consider pulling out of Nigeria, although it had scaled down its operations in the area.
“We are not thinking of pulling out of Nigeria for I’ve never heard it and I don’t have an answer to say that we are pulling out from the country. “However, this does not mean that we won’t shut operations in areas where explosions and destruction are high.”
The Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited and Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, had said last month; “Shell is not leaving Nigeria. Our strategy in Nigeria is to optimise our onshore oil footprint, while making further investments in other growth areas, particularly in deep water and the gas value chain, including domestic gas.”
That is even as Chevron’s General Manager, Policies, Government and Public Affairs, Deji Haastrup, said: “we will not be making any comment at this time.”
In its latest financial and operations report, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said that the recent upsurge in vandalism had negatively impacted on the country’s crude oil production output, making it to lose its African top crude oil producer status to Angola.
According to the corporation, about 380,000 barrels of crude oil per day remained shut-in due to vandalism of the 48-inch sub-sea export line on February 15, 2016.
“Also, the nation has lost over 1,500 megawatts of power supply to the damage as gas supply from Forcados, which is Nigeria’s major artery, accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of gas production. Incessant pipeline vandalism poses the greatest threat to the industry,” the NNPC said.
Chevron, Shell and Eni, the parent company of Nigeria Agip Oil Company, have been hard hit by the attacks by militants in the Niger Delta, home to most of the nation’s oil and gas production.
Currently, three of the nation’s five largest export streams, Forcados, Bonny Light and Brass River, have been totally suspended as a result of the attacks.
On Wednesday, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited shut the Trans Niger Pipeline, which transports around 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Bonny Export Terminal, after a leak was found.
Crude oil production in the country has dropped to about 1.4 million barrels per day from 2.2 million bpd, upon which the Federal Government assumed an oil revenue of N820bn at $38 per barrel benchmark price.
The sabotage of oil and gas infrastructure in recent months has contributed to a significant decline in production levels, and loss of revenue by government and oil companies.
Source: Punch. [myad]