Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC has declared as false allegations against it by the Amnesty International.
In a statement sent to The Daily, www.thedaily-ng.com, the company indicated that the allegations lack merit and fail to recognise the complex environment which Shell operates.
A spokesperson for The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) said: “The allegations levelled by Amnesty International are false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which the company operates where security, a sole prerogative of Government, remains a major concern with persisting incidents of criminality, kidnapping, vandalism, threats from self-described militant groups.
‘’As operator of a joint venture, where the government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has a majority interest, SPDC continues to work with federal and state government agencies, communities and civil society to create a safe operating environment.
“SPDC, in collaboration with government regulators, responds to spill incidents as quickly as it can and cleans up spills from its facilities regardless of the cause. We regularly test our emergency spill response procedures and capability to ensure staff and contractors can respond rapidly to an incident.
‘’However, response to spills, clean-up and remediation depend on access to the spill site and ultimately on the security of personnel and equipment while work is on-going.
“SPDC reiterates its commitment to carrying out operations in line with best practice in a responsible and environment-friendly manner.”
Illegal refining and third-party interference are the main sources of pollution in the Niger Delta today. Third-party interference is the cause of 90% of the number of spills of more than 100 kilograms from The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited operated Joint Venture (SPDC JV) pipelines in 2016.’’
It its current briefing notes, the company added that: ‘’Security in parts of the Niger Delta remains a major concern with persisting incidents of criminality, vandalism, threats from self-described militant groups, host community agitations and offshore piracy.
‘’There were renewed acts of sabotage by self-described militant groups on oil and gas infrastructure in parts of the Niger Delta in 2016, which severely impacted oil and gas operations. For example, export operations at the SPDC- operated Forcados Oil Terminal (FOT) were disrupted after three sabotage incidents in 2016.
‘’This resulted in loss of revenue, particularly for domestic producers who rely on the FOT for export. Facilities operated by both indigenous and international oil and gas companies were vandalised by attacks and other illegal activities such as crude oil theft, which led to a sharp decline in oil and gas production and incidents of environmental contamination. The consequences included a loss of revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria and major disruptions to gas supply to power electricity for industry, businesses and public sector services.
‘’The safety of staff and contractors in Nigeria remains the top priority. Shell Companies in Nigeria aim to mitigate security risks that may impact people, the environment and assets – thus operations are carried out only where it is safe to do so. We continue to deploy in-country expertise to mitigate security risks around our operations. We also continue to engage with the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as local communities, to help promote human rights and a peaceful and safe operating environment.
‘’Oil spills due to crude oil theft and sabotage of facilities (referred to as third-party interference), as well as illegal refining cause the most environmental damage from oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta. Irrespective of cause, the SPDC JV cleans up and remediates areas affected by spills originating from its facilities. The spills are sometimes made worse where there are access challenges to the incident sites to investigate and stop leaks. Third-party interference on pipelines and other infrastructure was responsible for 90% of oil spill incidents of more than 100 kilograms from SPDC JV facilities in 2016.
‘’Crude oil theft on the pipeline network resulted in a loss of about 5,660 barrels of oil a day (bbl/d) in 2016, which is less than the 25,000 bbl/d in 2015. The number of sabotage-related spills declined to 45* compared with 93 in 2015.’’