• Oil & Gas - News
  • Updated: February 22, 2023

Shell Promises To Support FG's Efforts To Protect Oloibiri Heritage

Shell Promises To Support  FG's Efforts To Protect Oloibiri

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) has reaffirmed its commitment to helping the federal government maintain the history of Oloibiri in Bayelsa, where the oil company discovered its first commercial quantities of oil in 1958.

At the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre (OMRC) groundbreaking event in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa, Osajie Okunbor, Managing Director (SPDC), made the commitment at the historic Oloibiri Oil Well No. 1 site.

Following SPDC's divestiture from the asset in 2015, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production is now in charge of the Oloibiri oil fields, which are now under Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29.

For 2.4 billion dollars, Aiteo acquired SPDC's stake in OML 29, which comprises the 97-kilometre Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL).

At the occasion, Okunbor made the following statement: "I am honoured to have the chance to deliver this message of goodwill on behalf of SPDC.

“SPDC is the operator of the Joint Venture involving the NNPC Limited, Shell, Total Energies E&P Limited and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company limited (NAOC).

“This is history in the making and the SPDC Joint Venture is proud to be associated with it.

"Indeed, the energy story of Nigeria has come home!  

"It was here in 1958 that Shell opened the first pages of the history of energy in Nigeria. 

“The first commercial find of hydrocarbons was here in Oloibiri and the subsequent first export of oil which launched Nigeria into the league of oil producers was also from here,” he said.

More than 60 years later, he claimed, Shell's social initiatives in Oloibiri—both as a lone sponsor and in partnership with its joint venture partners—have served as a tribute to the significance of the historic event that took place there.

He said that the Shell Group launched one of its largest health intervention programmes in Nigeria in 2019 and again in 2022 in acknowledgement of Oloibiri's crucial role in Nigeria.

"This intervention involved the commissioning of a fully remodelled and equipped general hospital at Kolo, fully equipped laboratories in the College of Health Technology, Otuogidi, solar-powered water treatment facilities for the communities, the Oloibiri Health Campus at Oloibiri town, and the Ogbia Safe Maternal and Infant Care Programme, among other health interventions within Oloibiri and its environs,” Okunbor said.

The SPD commended the Federal Executive Council's work in developing the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre in a methodical manner which resulted in the contract being awarded and approved for building.

Okunbor noted that the groundbreaking ceremony shows the PTDF, NCDMB, SPDC JV, and the Bayelsa State Government's perseverance and teamwork.

“I, therefore, congratulate us all again on this seminal and highly important event.

"There is no doubt in my mind that, when concluded, this museum and research centre will be a one-stop shop in the heart of the Niger Delta for the development of technologies for the energy of today and the energy of tomorrow. 

“I expect that the centre will grow to collaborate with relevant academic institutions in the Niger Delta and beyond, to further the much-needed handshake between the energy industry in Nigeria and academia,” he said. 

He urged the locals to view the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center as their own and not just another government- and multinational-sponsored initiative.

“I expect the people to own, protect and take pride in the historical and future relevance of this facility, while also taking advantage of the many opportunities it will offer.

“I join all stakeholders to celebrate this monumental event and wish for a safe, speedy construction hereafter.  Thank you, everyone,” he said.

Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, laid the cornerstone.

Dignitaries who witnessed the occasion included Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabite and community representatives.

According to NAN, the FEC awarded the project's contract award to Julius Berger Nigeria PLC for N17 billion on February 8.

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