Wednesday, October 23, 2019 6:22 pm
… Traditional ruler of Belema, King Ibinabo Kalaoriye, raises alarm, calls for arrest of those involved
…Shell, Belema Oil yet to issue official reaction
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Some youths on Tuesday invaded and disrupted production at Oil Mining Lease,OML-25 flow station in Belema community in Akuku-Toru local in Rivers State, operated Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, barely a month after the official reopening of the facility.
The traditional ruler of Belema, one of the host communities of the flow station, King Ibinabo Kalaoriye, raised alarm on Wednesday about the disruption of oil production at the facility by youths allegedly working for an indigenous oil company.
King Kalaoriye who did not state the grievances of the invaders, called on the government and security agencies to investigate and arrest those who invaded the flow station and disrupted production of over 35,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The controversial Oil Mining Lease, OML-25, flow station, which has been shut down and occupied by women and youths of host communities of Belema Offoin-Ama and Ngeje communities since August 2017 was officially re-opened amid celebrations on Saturday, September 28.
According to the traditional ruler, “Shell is the operator of the flow station. Government should not allow militants and criminals to create crisis in the Niger Delta beginning from the crisis in Belema flow station. Belema community is ready to create enabling environment for businesses, indigenous and foreign oil companies to operate in the area.”
He pointed out that federal government lost so much revenue when the flow station was shut in August 2017, until it was officially reopened on Saturday, September 28.
Our correspondent reports the only indigenous oil company that also has a stake in the Belema OML-25 flow station is Belema Oil Producing Limited.
However, as at time of filing this report, neither Belema Oil Producing Limited or SPDC has issued a statement on the alleged invasion.
It would be recalled that those present to witness the reopening of the flow station after two years of closure were the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, founder and President of Belema Oil Producing limited, Jack-Rich Tein Jr., Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, the Group Managing Director Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Osagie Okunbor, Country/Managing Director Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, prominent chiefs and elders of the host communities of the flow station.
This was after the NNPC and its joint venture partners , SPDC and Belema OIL, resolved their dispute over the operation of Oil Mining Lease
The feuding group at the signing of the dispute closure agreement in Abuja , on Tuesday, September 19, agreed that operations at the oil well should take off.