Quit Niger Delta within 72 hours, group tells oil firm

Posted by Pauline Onyibe, Yenagoa | 14 May 2019 | 767 times

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A Niger Delta group, the Ifalibobou Revolutionary Movement, (IRM) on Monday issued a 72 hours ultimatum to an oil drilling rig contracted by First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company to leave the territorial waters of KEFFES host Communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa state.

KEFFES is an acronym used to represent names of the Chevron host communities at the coastline of Brass and Southern Ijaw LGAs. They are Koluama 1&2, Ekeni, Foropa, Fish Town, Ezetu and Sangana, (KEFFES)

The leader of IRM, Joseph Sese in a statement yesterday in Yenagoa expressed sadness that the company began operations in the area without taking cognizance of the negative impact their operations would have on the host communities.

“We express our deepest concern over the sudden appearance of an oil drilling rig contracted by First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company in the Territorial waters of KEFFES host Communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa state.

“As aboriginal indigenes of the coastline and territorial watchdogs we are highly vexed by the manner of your voyage for oil exploratory activities in our offshore, and we are set to punish you for this, as the incidence of 16th January, 2012 is still fresh in our memory except you jack-up your rig and leave our region within seventy-two hours (72hrs) for the safety of your workers and equipment.

“We sincerely don’t want a repeat of the disastrous gas exploration that caused severe damage to our marine environment and the entire ecosystem of the KEFFES region.

“The way and manner your rig appeared in our territory is a sad remembrance of the way and manner the Rig, K.S. Endeavor came into our coast in an oil exploratory activities without an EIA Report and Contingency Plan as required by law. The end of it was a colossal damage to Human and Environmental Elements.

“It is imperative to state that your drilling operation will generate severe environmental impact such as Air and Water pollution, climate change, over exploitation of the marine ecosystem which will yield major ecological and environmental stresses with irreversible loss of species, destruction of habitat and climate catastrophes.

“Your activities will impact not only the states and dynamics of natural resources and ecosystem but also alter human health, wellbeing, welfare and economic wealth since these resources are support fortunes to the human lives in the area”, the statement read in part.

According to the statement, the oil rig is stationed to drill the Ayala oil field,(OML83) with a potential of200million barrels of oil equivalent, Madu oil field, (OML85), with potential of 140 million barrels of oil equivalent, including 45 percent gas deposits.

“We are aware and according to Information Memorandum from Chevron that, ANYALA field (OML83) has discovered Total Resources and Upside Potential of 200millionn barrels of oil equivalent, while MADU field – OML85 has discovered Total Resources and Upside Potential of over 140million barrels of oil equivalent. Accordingly, approximately “45 percent of discovered resources is gas in OML 85.

“And your Rig is in our territory to drill these oil fields with criminal disregard to well-known International Laws and Conventions, and Nigerian environmental laws. In your criminal oil exploration you consciously ignored the various global landmarks for environmental governance such as; the World Commission on Environment and Development, (WCED) which produced the now famous document

The group lamented the continued oil exploration activities in the Niger Delta without regard to the foregoing global landmarks for environmental management, stressing that the human rights of the oil producing communities are violated daily as their environment is also destroyed daily.

“You mobilized your drilling rig to your operational area without adherence to even the Nigeria laws regarding our environmental well-being. With the K.S endeavor incidence at the back of our mind.

“It is highly unforgivable for an oil company to mobilize an oil drilling rig to the same area in flagrant disregard to the provisions such as the Harmful Waste Act Cap 165 LFN 1991, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Decree No. 86,1992, Endangered Species Decrees Cap 108 LFN 1990, Standard Organization Act cap 412 LFN 1990,Petroleum (Drilling and Production) Regulation 1969 part ii section 21 -25, Waste Management Regulation 5.1 (15) 1991 which are in line with 150 19000 Quality Management System 15014031 and Environmental Performance Evaluation Guideline”.

IRM warned that should the oil rig fail to heed its directive to pack out the area within 72 hours, it would attract dire consequences to their operations.

“We have the capacity and the capability to punish your company for this unlawful act. Your time is seventy-two hours (72:00hrs) to Jack up your rig and leave our territory”, it insisted. (New Telegraph)



Source: News Express

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