National Union of Ogoni Students’ USA
3747 W. 138TH Street, Crestwood Illinois 60445, Tel. 1-(888) 610-5590, email – [email protected]
CAVERT EMPTOR: Divestment of Shell Oil Blocks: Oil Mining License 11 not for sale
We, the Ogoni students in Diaspora under the National Union of Ogoni Students’ (NUOS INTL), USA on behalf of the Ogoni people, distance ourselves from the ongoing Shell Oil Company’s secret divestment and sale of assets in oil and gas in Nigeria. These secret sales should not extend to Oil Mining License (OML) 11 in Ogoni its enclave.
Our decision is predicated on the fact that Shell Oil Company has no oil and gas either onstream or upstream in Ogoniland but liabilities due to environmental despoliation, nonpayment of rent & royalties for 56 years, and sponsored genocide in Ogoni.
Over the years, The National Union of Ogoni Students’ USA has gained expertize studying and following trends in the Shell world and the oil industry. In early 2009, we started noticing changes in Shell Oil Company’s onstream and upstream policy when the company started divesting its onstream investment particularly in Niger Delta before the signing of the Nigerian Oil and Gas content Act 2010 by the then Acting President Goodluck Jonathan. Shell Oil in its defense laid claim to her new global assets divestment policy. In a statement, the then Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr. Peter Voser said, “that the divestments were part of company’s strategy of refocusing its onshore interests in Nigeria and in line with the Federal Governments aim of developing Nigerian companies in the upstream oil and gas business.”
Since the initial divestment of oil blocks, Shell oil Company has sold 45% of its Joint Venture equity in its lucrative Niger Delta western area of operation including Oil Mining Licenses (OML) 26, 42, 4, 30, 34, 38, 40, 41, 29, pipelines, including offices and residential areas in Warri. We are all alarmed by the secretive sale of these assets without inputs from host communities and state governments. We have reasonable suspicion following these trends that Shell Oil Company is taking advantage of the weakness of the host communities to evade its liabilities and responsibilities to the people of the Niger Delta by tactfully and secretly divesting its assets.
When contacted on the position of the company on OML 11 located in the disputed Ogoni area, some inside sources familiar with the divestment or sale of Shell Oil Company’s assets confirmed our fears that Shell Oil was far ahead in its secret move to woo buyers for the OML 11 in Ogoni territory. We started beaming satellite on some of these potential buyers who are lobbying and bribing those involved including some Ogonis for them to be granted safe passage into the Ogoni area. Based on our investigation, the sale of Ogoni Oil Block OML 11 could take place before December 2014.
Based on the backdrop above and considering the huge liability and conflict that Shell Oil Company would leave behind for any investor, we are honestly trumpeting to the hearing of ALL potential investors, bidders, and interested parties in OML 11 that this Oil Block belongs to Ogoni people and therefore is not for sale.
1. The Ogoni people have since 1990 canvassed and paid prices in blood and treasures for the control of their Oil and natural resources and will NEVER renege on this important article in the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR) at this point in our struggle.
2. Shell Oil Company has no right of ownership to OML 11 because it owes the Ogoni people £18 billion pound Sterling representing royalties on petroleum mining in Ogoni land since 1958, and £4 billion pound sterling as compensation for environmental pollution, devastation, and ecological degradation in the area. These compensations were unanimously passed into law at the 3rd Assembly of Rivers State House of Assembly in 1993 under the Leadership of Hon. Tuesday C. Kemeagbeye. These sums remain unpaid to date and we shall not renege on it at this point in our struggle.
3. The company should stop parading itself as an owner of assets in Ogoniland because it remains persona non grata in the area. It should rather own up, clear its liabilities to the Ogoni people, and clean up the environment, sit down for a comprehensive discussion with the Ogoni people before working away or before any purported transfer of ownership of assets to avoid another round of bloodshed. We would also add that no investor should purchase Shell Oil Company’s liabilities because the safety of their personnel, staff, assets, cannot be guaranteed in Ogoni.
4. In line with global Oil industry best practices, Shell Oil Company should emulate or borrow a leave from British Petroleum (BP) in the case of the Gulf of Mexico 2010 and Exxon Mobile 1989 in the case of Valdez by paying compensation to oil affected communities and cleaning up the ecosystem. The UNEP report of 2011 is also another reason why Shell Oil Company cannot sell Ogoni Oil block.
5. The death of Chief Theophilus Orage, Chief Edward KoBari, Chief Albert TomBari Badeh, Chief Ignatius Kogbara, Mr. Ken Saro Wiwa, and eight of his compatriots cannot be ignored. We shall continue to demand answers to circumstances surrounding their demise and Shell Oil instigated mass killings/ genocide and ecological war in Ogoni in the 1990s.
The catalog of unresolved liabilities hovering over Shell Oil Company regarding Oil Mining License 11 and few of which are outlined above should serve as blue print and warning to prospective contenders, buyers, investors, or interested parties in this oil block. The summary is that Shell Oil Company has no equity and assets in Ogoniland rather liabilities because they lose their mining right twenty (21) years ago. Let the buyer(s) beware, Cavert Emptor!
Pius Barikpoa Nwinee Sampson Npimnee
His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria
His Excellency Barrack Obama, President of the United States of America
Rt. Hon. David Cameron, Prime minister of Britain
His Holiness Pope Francis, Vatican City
His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, United Nations
Mr. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
United States Congress & British Parliament
Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate, Royal Dutch Shell Plc
Mr. John Donovan, Activist.