The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) – operated Joint Venture has taken a key step towards rehabilitating the Ogbotobo Flowstation in Western Niger Delta through the award of a contract for reviving the power system of the facility.
Operations at the flowstation were suspended at the peak of militancy in the Niger Delta in 2006, and SPDC plans to restart the facility to support resumption of oil production from the entire Ogbotobo field in Bayelsa State.
Ogbotobo Flowstation, with a capacity of 45,000 barrels of oil per day, was delivering about 10,000 barrels when it was shut down.
Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Mr. Tony Okonedo, said in a statement that the contract was awarded to an indigenous firm, LEE Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited. According to him, the contract covers replacement of the station’s power generation and distribution system.
Okonedo said the company planned to resume operations at Ogbotogbo Flowstation once the power system was up and running.
Shell’s General Manager, Operated Onshore and Shallow Offshore Projects, Toyin Olagunju, said at the contract-signing ceremony that the project was a major step toward fulfilling the company’s aspiration to re-enter fields it had left in the west in 2006 due to insecurity.
“A significant aspect of the contract is that it is being executed by an indigenous contractor thus promoting SPDC efforts to grow Nigerian capacity in the oil and gas sector. We will support the contractor to deliver the project on schedule in a safe and secure manner,” he said.
In a remark, the Chairman of LEE Engineering, Dr. Leemon Ikpea, thanked SPDC for the opportunity given to his company to be a part of their production delivery goal. “As our practice, LEE Engineering will strive to work safely in the delivery of the project,” he said.
Shell was forced to evacuate its workers from the Ogbotobo Flowstation and other neighbouring flowstations at Opukushi and Tunu between January 10 and 22, 2006 after militants attacked a nearby Benisede flowstation, killing several persons, including soldiers.
Four soldiers deployed under the Joint Task Force (JTF) to protect oil workers and facilities in the restive region, died in the attack. The militants who attacked the Benisede flow station were said to have arrived in four speedboats. They set two residential quarters ablaze and damaged several oil facilities before disappearing into the creeks.
Information from This Day was used in this report.