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Nigerian Oil and Gas Report

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Brass Liquefied Natural Gas Company has signed a work contract with the people of Twon Brass, Okpoama and Ewoama communities in Bayelsa State, for clearing of the construction site for the LNG plants in Brass. The signing, which signals  commencement of work on the multimillion dollar project, is coming almost a year after  former President Olusegun Obasanjo performed the ground- breaking ceremony.

Delays in the commencement of the project were caused by activities of militants which were at its heights, and made it difficult for contractors to mobilise to site. Early Works Social Contract (EWSC), which was usually awarded to host communities, was given to the three communities, which were impacted by the gas project.

Bayelsa State Commissioner for Energy, Chief Diekivie Ikiogha, who witnessed the ceremony and represented the state government at the signing of the agreement, expressed government’s willingness to provide the enabling environment for the successful execution of the project.

Ikiogha said the signing of the contract would bridge the communication gap between the people and the company, and help to keep community youths from idleness. He said as a major player in the oil and gas industry, the state would work towards enthroning enduring peace for the oil industry to grow in the state.

Ikiogha also advised management of the company to seriously consider the establishment of an office in Yenagoa, the state capital, noting that the move would make communication between government and the company easier.
The Managing Director of the Brass LNG, Mr Vicenzo Lorenzo, said  the signing  is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to development of the impacted communities.  Lorenzo said the bush clearing job has been awarded to the communities and called for resolution of crisis through dialogue.

NNPC Raises N640bn To End Gas Flaring
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has so far sourced $5 billion (N640 billion) from the capital market for infrastructure development aimed at ending gas flaring in Nigeria. Despite this however, gas flaring will not stop in the country until 2009. So said the Group managing director of NNPC, Engr. Abubakar Lawal Yar’Adua, when he met the Senate Committee on Gas, Environment and Ecology and the Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) in February. The National Assembly Committees were investigating the impacts of gas flaring and the deadline given to oil companies to end gas pollution in Nigeria. Yar’Adua said that infrastructure for stopping gas flaring was “capital intensive” and, as such, required the efforts of both the Federal Government and the oil companies. He said the Presidency authorized the NNPC to source the funds from the capital market.

EU Disburses N7.2bn To Niger Delta

The European Union (EU)” has disbursed over N7.2 billion to six states in the Niger Delta region as part of efforts to curb restiveness in the region.

A statement issued by the commission named the states that benefited from the gesture as, Edo, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo and Ondo States.

The new project embarked upon by EU, would be concluded in May 2008 with focus on micro-project programmes in the six states of the region according to the statement.

The micro-projects targeted by EU in the region include; school building, health clinics, small water fiction, public toilet and income generating through parks and bridges and have benefited over 1,500 communities and over 3.7m people in the Niger Delta region.

Land lease agreement for Brass LNG signed

The land lease agreement for the Brass Liquefied Natural Gas project site was signed in February 2008 by representatives of the company and the three host communities of Ewoama, Okpoama and Twon-Brass, in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Speaking at the brief ceremony in Government House, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, described the signing of the land lease agreement as historic. He urged the management of Brass LNG to accelerate work on the Final Investment Decision to concretise the project.

The governor also enjoined the company to practice good corporate governance and carry the host communities along when the project eventually took off. “I see a lot of commitment on the part of the Brass LNG to the development of the state, just as the three sister communities have demonstrated maturity and understanding in the leasing of their land for the project.”, he said.

He praised the leadership of the state‘s Traditional Rulers‘ Council for its role in brokering peace between the communities concerned in the project and the people of Okpoama, Ewoama and Twon-Brass, for giving up their land for the establishment of the project.

Kidnappers of lawmaker’s mum get 10 yrs each in jail

A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has sentenced to ten years each, four out of the seven kidnappers arraigned over the kidnap of Madam Goldcoast Dickson, the 63- year-old mother of Hon Seriake Dickson representing Sagbama-Ekeremor federal constituency.

Three of their partners in crime pleaded not guilty but were refused bail and subsequently remanded in Ahoada Prison in Rivers State. They were to appear in court on December 10 2007. The four kidnappers, each sentenced to ten-year prison term are Messrs Preye Amadiowei (23), Igho Meshack (25), Egbeipou Efidi (35) and Ebi Baingi (29).

The hostage takers all pleaded guilty as charged, before the presiding judge, Justice Okechuckwu Okeke. Their three other cohorts: Messrs Godbless Alaturo (34), Ebisco Soude (29) and Johnson Ediseimokumo (27), pleaded not guilty, but were denied bail by Justice Okeke and remanded in Ahoada Prison.

The accused persons risked being sentenced to life imprisonment or death by hanging given the gravity of the offence but for the plea of their counsel, Mr. Preye Ineididie, which made the presiding judge to reduce the term to ten years.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Joseph Ebagbon-Khalu, did not object to the plea of the defense counsel for the judge to temper justice with mercy.

Crude Oil Theft: FG to Install Metres at Flow Stations

The Federal Government is considering installing metres at Nigerian oil flow stations to determine the volume of crude oil that is being exported from the country. There are allegations that about 200,000 barrels of crude oil are stolen yearly by oil companies which over pump their agreed quotas although a committee set up by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had last year to probe the allegation came up with no provable wrongdoing according to sources familiar with the investigation..

The current move to install meters is said to be on the advice of some Norwegian consultants.

Intels, ExxonMobil Handle 3m Metric Tons of Cargoes

Logistics giant, Intel Nigeria Limited and ExxonMobil Producing Company Unlimited have celebrated the handling of three million metric tonnes  of cargoes within the past five years without any lost time incident (LTI).

The two firms are operating at the oil shore base in Onne Ports Complex, where they said there was a turnaround of 4,245 marine support vessels within the period. Intels Nigeria Limited is logistic service provider for Mobil. In a statement issued in Lagos Intels General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Simone Volpi said his company believed in good health, safety and environment and challenged firms which have interest in the future to invest in HSE.

Mr. Mike Ekwueme of Mobil Shore Base Safety, Health and Environment, (SHE), unit said that the last LTIs (lost time incidents) that was experienced in its operations, was in September 2002 ,saying that no LTI was recorded in 2007.

Oil Communities Call For Scrapping Of NDDC

Some communities in Akwa Ibom State are championing the scrapping of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). They accused the organization of failing to develop their areas.

The oil producing communities are Eket, Ibeno, Esit-Eket and Onna who argued that from reports gathered every year, Moil Producing Nigeria (MPN) spends over N6 billion as its own counterpart funding to NDDC for use in the development of MPN immediate communities and other parts of Akwa Ibom State “yet there is nothing tangible on ground to justify such a huge contribution”.

They noted that before the creation of NDDC, oil companies like MPN under a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) used to call the communities together seeking their opinion on various projects of their interest and such projects were executed but now, since NDDC came on the scene, a huge chunk of monies meant for community development was allegedly misappropriated as they didn’t see any matching developments.

One of the community elders, the village head of Mkpanak in Ibeno local Government Council, Chief Edet Ndarake, said “I am not satisfied with the performance of NDDC”. He further said, “with the much money paid to NDDC, they are suppose to develop this place for us. Mobil gives them much money yet nothing is here for one to see as a major project from NDDC. Go to Iwoachang-Okoritip road, for 4 years now the road is still there and nothing has been done. The bridge is there and no progress. I am not happy about it and am sure the same thing is prevalent in Esit-Eket and other places”.

In the past, he pointed out, “we had MoU and Mobil will call us and ask the jobs we want but now money is sent to NDDC yet nothing”.

Oando to Sue Gunvor For Bad Fuel.

Oando Plc plans to sue Gunvor  International BV, Amsterdam at the International Court of Justice for supplying it (Oando) with the contaminated product that inflicted damages on cars in Nigeria in February 2008.
According to local media reports, Oando will be praying the court to declare that Gunvor was responsible for the havoc wrecked by the contaminated petrol as it failed  to reveal that it contained 20 percent ethanol, which is far higher than Nigeria’s acceptable blend ration. Oando will also be asking the court to award damages against the foreign company for the injuries which it suffered following Gunvor’s failure to disclose the contents of the fuel.

Oando and clarified through press releases that the 33,000 metric tonnes of petrol was delivered to Nigeria by Gunvor on  February 14, 2008. The statement went further to say that: “At the Nigerian jetty the product was subjected to Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) routine tests in line with industry specifications and was found to meet set and prescribed standard. It was compared with the certificate of quality issued at load port to ensure that there had been no material change in transit, on confirmation that the product was the same as what was loaded, it was approved for discharge…”.
However, Gunvor has claimed that composite samples retained from the cargo showed it as being of quality consistent with the demands of the importer and declared  that any legal action against it with regard to the shipment would be met with a vigorous response.

Kidnapped Julius Berger Staff Released, as Company Pledges To Develop Niger Delta.

Julius Berger Plc has confirmed that its senior expatriate staff who was kidnapped in the Niger Delta has been released. In a press release by its public affairs advisor, Mr Clement Iloba, Julius Berger however pledged to accelerate its drive towards carrying out works that will support the development of the Niger Delta Region and Nigeria as a whole.

The kidnapped officer, Mr Munch, was abducted around Rumuji Area of the East-West Road of Port Harcourt, River State. The release noted that he sustained no physical injuries.

On the issue of the kidnappings, the Julius Berger release noted that incidents of kidnapping and brutality threatened the genuine interests of the nation and the Niger Delta people. The construction company stated that it had been working closely with the Nigerian authorities and requested everybody to support positive efforts in building Nigeria and lauded the professionalism of the State Security Service (SSS) and other authorities for assisting in the release of the kidnapped expatriate staff in less than 12 hours.

Willbros Completes 421-mile Gas Pipeline System

Willbros West Africa Inc, an Ascot offshore services company, has completed a 421-mile offshore pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana.

The pipeline, which stretches from the Lagos Beach Compressor Station (LBCS) near Badagry, Lagos, to Takoradi in Ghana, was handled by BJ Process and Pipeline Services (BJ PPS) on behalf of Willbros West Africa. BJ PPS’s announcement of its completion of the pipeline pre-commissioning services for the final segments of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) system means that one of the largest pipeline networks in the region has been realised.

The WAGP system, which measures 678 kilometres (about 421 miles) in length, is expected to gather natural gas from fields in the Escravos region of the Niger Delta, for delivery to customers in three West African countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin. The pipeline system, which also measures 20 inches in diameter, extending some 568 kilometres through water depths to 71 metres, comprises the existing Escravos-Lagos pipeline, a new onshore pipeline in Nigeria, and a new offshore pipeline together with a recently built compressor station.

BJ PPS was selected to prepare the new pipelines for commissioning and start-up, with BJ coordinating the delivery of all primary equipment to commence operations in just two weeks, based on the project’s narrow time-frame. The group undertook a wide range of preparatory and pre-commissioning work, displacing more than 100,000 tonnes of seawater and other services, including pipeline flooding, hydrostatic pressure testing and filling with nitrogen to make inert.