The ONELGA Oil and Gas landlords Families in ONELGA in Rivers State have shut down 37 of the oil well heads of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company/NNPC joint venture.
The association´s chairman Mr. Chikobi Alali, in a statement said the decision to shut down the oil company’s operations became imperative when several attempts allegedly made by the association to resolve the age long dispute between the landlord families and the company failed.
It said the association is the ancient owners of OML 60 and 61 on which stand the 150 oil well heads which NAOC operates in the local government area NAOC facilities like the Ebocha oil center, OB/OB Gas injection plant, electrical generating turbines, pipelines, flow lines and other installations.
According to the group, the latest showdown with the company was triggered off by NAOC’s alleged inability to honour the understanding it reached with the association to pay all pending bills as palliative to create harmony in addressing serious problems affecting the communities such as security, corporate social responsibility CSR, and matters relating to the environment.
“The palliatives are immediate payment of all landlords contractors bills, payment of 1% total amount accrued from deduction made in contracts awarded to and executed by landlord families contractor to the association account, out of court resolution of all pending court cases between the oil and gas landlords families and NAOC including judgment of court in suit no: FHC/PH/CS/1352/2004, compensation of the Ebocha blowout for Egbema communities, and payment of approved legal land rates by government.
“In December 2016 the association received telephone short messages from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources emanating from NAOC claiming to have made these payments to the landlords contractors. The landlords waited for one week without receiving alert from the banks.
“This prompted the Minister of Petroleum to send a fact finding team to NAOC office in Port Harcourt and the result according to Mr. Charles Achodo Special Adviser to the Minister of Petroleum Resources on Niger Delta, that the money for the payment has been approved but does not know who it was paid to.
“ It will be recalled that the ONELGA oil and gas landlord families’ contractors have not been paid for their services for over one year now,” the association stated.
It said amongst those reached by the association to amicably resolve these issues in the past include the Chairman of ENI Group Ms. Emma Marcegala, Managing Director of ENI Group Claudio Descalzo, vice-president of ENI Group Sub-saharan Africa Mr. Umberto Carrara and Managing Director NAOC/NNPC joint venture Mr. Massimo Insulla.
Others are the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Minister of Defence, Minister of Interior, Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector-General of Police who for about a year now have not been able to been able to resolve the disagreement.
The association called on the government to come to its aid as a regulatory authority to protect the interest of the landlords as it has “ become evident that international oil companies (IOC) does not and has no intention of protecting the interest of the landlords.”