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Vanguard (Nigeria): Shell Nigeria recovers 200, 000 b/d shut in production

Written by Hector Igbikiowubo    
Thursday, 14 February 2008 

SHELL Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), a subsidiary of Shell Companies in Nigeria has recovered 200,000 barrels per day shut in production from the western Niger Delta raising the company’s total daily output above 800,000 p/d and underscoring the improved security situation in the area. Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director of the SPDC made the disclosure about recovered output while speaking with journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, adding that the security and safety of lives of company staff and stakeholders has always been paramount in the company’s dealings.

The company had to shut down its operations in the western Niger Delta throughout 2007 owing to a heightened state of insecurity in the area, effectively shutting in 477,000 barrels per day of crude oil production.

Major facilities of the company were severely damaged including pipelines, manifolds, field bases and crude oil loading platforms, while oil spills were recorded in some affected areas.

Essentially, 277,000 barrels per day of SPDC production remains shut in the western Niger Delta with implications for the company’s bottomline. 

Sunmonu pointed out that the company has been faced with serious difficulties in the Niger Delta, adding that these are challenges which test the resilience of an organisation.

“We are hoping that some of the difficulties we are faced with will be a thing of the past. On the security situation, we will continue to work with government. We will continue to do our best within the areas of our operation to ensure that we continue to have a harmonious relationship with our stakeholders. We will engage the communities at the state level and local government level.”

Sunmonu also cited the issue of funding noting that it also poses a challenge for the operations of the company.

“Funding continues to be a major challenge for us, the problem is still there. But I am confident that given the level of discussions we are having with government, we will soon find a solution to the whole issue of funding,” he said.

The managing director lamented current perception among a cross-section of Nigerians over the number of expatriate staff occupying top management positions in the bank noting that it was a far cry from what currently obtains. 

“People still believe that there are a lot of expatriates within the services of SPDC in Nigeria holding top positions. I think we really have to look at the data. If you look at the top echelon, 11 out of the 14 senior management positions are being held by Nigerians.

A lot of people don’t appreciate this. Some people feel we have too many expatriates in the company. We have less than 5% expatriate staff in SPDC and this is less than 300 persons. In the same token, if you look at how many Nigerian working for the company abroad, they are about 270 to 280. We must look at all sides of the equation.

We have almost the same number of expatriates working in here as we have Nigerians working outside. I do believe that we are doing our best in terms of human capacity development. The Shell Intensive Training Programme is something we shall continue to support.

The programme started about 10 years ago to help bridge the gap in the educational development of young graduates. We bring them out of Nigerian universities and put them into a Shell school affiliated to Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.”

http://www.vanguardngr.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2227&Itemid=43

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