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thetidenews.com (Nigeria): We’re in Ogoni to put out fire – Shell

Monday, Oct 30, 2006

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has said that, its presence in Ogoniland at the moment is not for oil exploration but to put out the fire on Yorla well 13.

The Emergency Response Team Commander of the Company, Mr. Ikechukwu Charles Okoro disclosed this Friday in a press briefing in Port Harcourt.

Mr. Okoro said that, the clarification had become necessary in view of the attempt by some persons to misinterpret the presence of the company in the area.

According to him, “we are aware that some people have misinterpreted the efforts to fight the fire to mean that SPDC has secretly begun operations in Ogoniland.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” he said. While stressing that is the wish of the company that oil production starts as soon as possible in the area, the Emergency Team Commander, however noted that Shell would not drill for even a drop of oil from Ogoniland until it has the full understanding and agreement of all Ogoni people.

On the efforts made so far to put out the fire, Mr. Okoro said that (SPDC) has invited a United States based oil wells fire extinguishing Company, Boots and Coots International, to put out the fire.

He also noted that apart from the company, SPDC has also imported specialized fire fighting tools and equipment, stressing that the tools and equipment which arrived the Lagos international Airport on October 21, 2006, had already arrived Port Harcourt.

“We assure that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that this fire is extinguished at the earliest possible time.

He thanked those who have so far assisted the company in its effort to put out the fire.

Journalists were later conducted round the site of the fire incident.

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