Oil giant, Shell on Monday, March 14, announced that it was working with the Bayelsa State Government to resolve a dispute with some host communities in the state over the non-execution of an electricity project.
The four communities constituting the Kolo Creek Cluster Development Board in the Ogbia Local Government Area of the state had on March 8 threatened to ground operations at Shell’s oilfields over the failure to provide them with electricity.
According to the communities, their 14-day ultimatum was sequel to several delays by the oil firm which had resulted in missed timelines to deliver electricity as pledged.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, who on behalf of the government, has been mediating in the dispute following a protest in December 2021, had urged the people to exercise restraint.
Reacting to the resolution of the four communities to disrupt operations at the Kolo Creek fields, Mr Michael Adande, a spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) assured the people that the oil super major was working to amicably resolve the dispute.
Adande said: “The Bayelsa State Government and SPDC are working with the beneficiary communities to deliver the backup electricity project based on a rescheduled delivery timeline”.
The ultimatum letter which was jointly signed by the paramount rulers of Imiringi, Otuasega, Oruma and Elebele Communities demanded restoration of electricity among other due obligations that are yet to be met.
They demanded the immediate operationalisation of the 2.5 MVA generator installed by Morpol Engineering Services Limited and the award of contract for the Oruma high tension line.
They stated that the SPDC had “deliberately refused to honour the agreements it had with the cluster communities on several occasions since 2013.
They noted that the communities had unanimously resolved to shut down all the firm’s oil installations and platforms in Kolo Creek at the expiration of the 14 days’ ultimatum.