Agip seeks govt intervention to avert disruption
Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, at Biseni in Bayelsa has asked the state government to prevail on its obligations to the communities to avert impending disruption of oil production.
The communities had shut five oil wells in Idu Oil Fields operated by Agip over non-fulfilment of community development obligations to its host communities.
The oil wells 3, 6, 8, 11 and 12 earlier shut down and put out of production by youths of the area were reopened after a meeting between community representatives and Agip officials on August 5, 2014.
Chief Solomon Ogiama, secretary of Egbebiri II community, Sunday said that officials of NAOC who had pledged prompt implementation of agreements reached before the oil wells were reopened, had reneged on their pledge.
“We are appealing to Bayelsa government to wade into this and ensure that we do not have to resort to disrupting oil production which has a direct bearing on revenues accruable to the state.
“Agip officials pledged to immediately pay off all outstanding debts to surveillance contractors once the wells were reopened but nothing has happened.
“From the time frames they gave us during the meeting at their Port Harcourt office, they ought to have done a lot as we were assured that in just a few days they will pay contractors who were owed for up to one year.
“The community leadership conveyed the resolutions at the meeting to the entire community and now all eyes are on us and the pressure is mounting on us, we want government to come in and further mediate,” Ogiama said
He explained that the intervention of government was necessary to forestall revenue loss if the oil wells were shut again, adding that the community had communicated the development to the government.
Ogiama said the community resolved to give peace a chance to show its readiness to provide a peaceful environment to the oil firm to operate while it expects Agip to honour its agreements with the community.
When contacted for comments, Mr Filipo Cotalini, Media Relations Office manager at Eni, which operates in Nigeria as NAOC, had said the Italian energy firm was investigating the incident.
Cotalini said the firm would issue a statement in due course.