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THISDAY ONLINE: N’Delta Crisis: Shell Loses $10.6bn

From Kingsley Nwezeh in Asaba, 08.16.2007

Following the escalating crisis in the Niger Delta region in the past few months, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) disclosed yesterday that it lost about $10.6 billion to the protracted kidnappings, killings and vandalisation of oil facilities which led  to the closure of its western oil production since February 2006.

The closure is also said to have accounted for Delta State’s  slip from the highest oil producing state status and share of the 13 per cent derivation fund from the Federation Account to an all time low and fourth position.

Shells’ External Affairs Manager, Corporate Affairs and West, Mr. Harriman Oyofo made the revelation  at a workshop the company held for top government officials and legislators from Delta and Edo State at the Grand Hotel, Asaba.

The workshop with the theme, “Community and Shell Together” is part of the company’s re-entry consultation with stakeholders in its Western Areas of operation.

Oyofo told the gathering that due to the crisis in the Western areas of the company’s operation it had to suspend  crude oil production since February 2006, stressing that , “we lose out production, losing money and losing manpower.

“The company’s spokesman put the loss the company suffered from that time till the period of the re-entry at  over $10.6 billion, explaining that while the company was producing  over 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day before the crisis it now produces about 400 barrels per day.

He clarified, however, that the crisis did not affect the production in Edo State , adding that the company also had little production in the land areas in Delta State.
Oyofo explained that what the company was   producing from Edo State within the period under review  was not going for export but was given to the Nigerian National Petroleum Cor-poration (NNPC) for local consumption.

The manager observed that Shell was not the only victim of the crisis but that the closure  caused Delta State to slip from its position as the highest oil producing state and 13 per cent derivation to an abysmal fourth position.

He added that with even full production, Delta State would still have to pay back the backlog of what had accrued to it during the period of the closure,   a situation he noted would not allow it to receive full 13 per cent.Also speaking at the occasion, Manager, Government Relations, West of Shell, Chief Charles Akeni advocated the local refinery of the country’s crude as against the current trend of producing for exports. “We should process our own crude oil within Nigeria. The sale of crude oil does not provide jobs or attracting foreign investment the Niger Delta Region needs,” he said.

http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=86441

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