By Etuka Sunday
Nigeria’s crude oil production is poised for an increased output of 35,000 barrels per day as a protracted dispute that soiled relations amongst Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Belema Oil and host communities within the precinct of OML 25 in Kula Kingdom of Aku-ku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State has come to an amicable end.
A release by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, stated that the crisis was laid to rest following a rapprochement brokered by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, offering the promise to open the way for resumption of production activities on the field soon.
Speaking at the end of the peace parley, symbolized with the signing of a dispute resolution agreement among the erstwhile feuding parties, the NNPC GMD described the event as vital in ensuring restoration of normalcy, especially in the communities whose normal ways of life have been disrupted by the dispute in the last two years.
Kyari said the economic implication of the peace agreement was that production within the OML 25 and adjoining assets which have daily production output of over 35,000 barrels would resume and add value for the community, the investors and the country at large.
The GMD acknowledged the effort of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in ensuring the lasting settlement of the dispute, noting that the position of the HMSPR was in tandem with the aspiration of President Mohammadu Buhari in ensuring harmonious relations between host communities and oil industry operators.
Kyari also took time out to recognize the collaborative efforts of the President of Belema Oil Producing Limited, Mr. Jack Rich Tein and the Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, in bringing to a closure the two year-old dispute.
Responding, Okunbor thanked the Chief Sylva and Mallam Kyari for their exemplary efforts and demonstration of deep commitment in resolving the disputes with Belema Oil and the communities.
He said Shell was looking forward to a quick return to the oil platform ahead of planned resumption of production activities in OML 25.
On his part, Mr. Jack Rich Tein, said the resolution would ensure restoration of production which would ultimately benefit the communities and all stakeholders in this regard.
He pledged to abide by the terms of dispute resolution agreement, saying the Belema Oil would always support any initiative designed to bring peace and development for the communities and the country.
Commending the stakeholders for successful settlement of the issues, Chief Sylva noted that his mandate as HMSPR was to ensure a zero disruption in crude oil and gas production across all assets.
He said the Petroleum Ministry under his watch had resolved to settle all pending legacy issues capable of igniting loss or disruption in production, adding that every drop of oil produced in Nigeria must get to the desired destination to create the much needed value for all stakeholders.