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Residents halt oil exploration at Shell’s oilfield in Bayelsa, sack workers

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Residents at Opukushi, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa, have disrupted oil exploration activities at an oilfield operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in the area.

It was gathered that the communities hosting SPDC’s EA fields took the steps to protest their exclusion from contracts in the ongoing drilling activities.

Chairman of Opukushi Community Development Committee Preye Simon said in a telephone chat on Wednesday that the people took the steps to draw attention to their plight.


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He alleged that rather than engage the people in the ongoing activities at the field in compliance with the Community Content Guidelines, SPDC and its oil services contractors neglected their social obligations to the communities.

Reacting to the development, Media Relations Manager at SPDC Bamidele Odugbesan confirmed that exploration activities had been grounded at the oilfields.

Odugbesan said that personnel of its contractors were safe and unharmed in the invasion and shutdown of the oil rig at the field and said that the development had been reported to the appropriate government agencies.

“A large number of men and women invaded a contractor-owned and operated rig working for The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited Joint Venture in Opukushi in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in the early hours of Monday 10 January 2022.

“The invaders forcibly shutdown the facility and occupied the safe muster area. Nobody was hurt in the process and the incident was promptly reported to government authorities.” Odugbesan stated.

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