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Shell Abandons 32 Oil Wells In Nigeria

Shell Abandons 32 Oil Wells In Nigeria

ANGLO-Dutch oil and gas super major, Shell, has abandoned 32 of their oil wells in Akwa Ibom State axis of Nigeria, AkanimoReports gathered on Wednesday. Already, this is a matter of serious concern for the Godswill Akpabio Administration that is in need of more oil revenue to further lift the economic and social status of the hitherto civil service state.

Akpabio, who is currently pressing Abuja to ensure that the oil wells keep gushing, said theynare located in Oko, Okoroette and Utapete communities in Eastern Obolo Local Government Area of the state.

The 32 oil wells were explored, sealed and abandoned 17 years ago by Shell.

Governor Akpabio renewed his appeal again on the abandoned oil wells on Tuesday when the Chairman of Eastern Obolo Local Government, Francis Charles, accompanied by stakeholders from the communities making up the UTAPETE Oil Field, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Uyo.

The governor remarked, ''these oil wells were operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria 17 years ago, which have been locked up and now constitute a nuisance to and endanger the lives of the children of Eastern Obolo for so many years”.

According to him, “these oil wells are on-shore. I appeal to the Federal Government to plead with Shell Petroleum Development Company and the Minister of Petroleum Resources to do everything possible to get the wells functional and reopened so that business can enter into the towns, our children can have employment opportunities, our state can improve on on-shore oil capacity and so that some industries would come to Eastern Obolo”.

Continuing, he said, ''it is for the overall interest of Nigeria to improve on the daily production of oil and I don’t see any reason why so many millions of barrels of oil would not come in those seventeen years. If we do not re-open them now, they could be locked up for more seventeen years.

”So, I want to work with the Chairman, traditional rulers, stakeholders, immediate communities and Eastern Obolo as a whole to make sure that in the shortest possible time, the oil wells would spring up there. And I pray that the resources coming from there be not a curse but a blessing to the communities- bringing development, peace, harmony and not acrimony”, the Governor warned.

On the issue of boundary problems between Eastern Obolo and other surrounding local government areas, Akpabio said “I have noted your request to look into the issues of boundary between you and the local government areas that surround you such as Mkpat Enin, Onna and Ikot Abasi. I want to assure you that my Deputy Governor, Lady Valerie Ebe, who is a lawyer, would work with the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General and other legal practitioners to bring the issues to a conclusion”.

Adding, he said, ''most importantly, the issue of boundary adjustment is always a give-or- take matter and each is a matter for the Local Government Commission, the State Boundary Committee or a matter for the National Boundary Commission. So, since this is an intra state affair, I think we should be able to resolve all the issues.

”Be rest assured that Eastern Obolo, as one of the local government areas that was created and mentioned in the Nigeria’s Constitution, has come to be and what you want is a clearly defined boundary. So, this issue of disagreement with your brothers and sisters in the other local government areas would come to an end. What you are looking for is peaceful co-existence and harmonious living”, Akpabio observed.

Akpabio announced his intention to appoint a Special Assistant on Petroleum Matters to bring him information on the oil wells issue, which would be a time for more development, partnership between the Local and State Government, stressing that the people of Eastern Obolo would be fully briefed for half of information could lead to conclusion and they would be carried along.

Chairman of Eastern Obolo, said that the local government needed to enjoy the 32 oil wells that God has blessed them with, explaining that the wells were operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company and were shut down seventeen years ago due to challenges regarding the transportion of gas along Eastern Obolo through Ogoni, which led to a high level of crises that forced the shut down.

Charles said that company might have given other reasons. He also said that the communities are very receptive, working together peacefully and there is no reason for any problem between the communities and Shell.

ENDS

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