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Shell denies having pending liability in Nembe

The Shell Petroleum Development Company says it has no pending oil spill and gas flare liabilities in Nembe community of Bayelsa.

The SPDC’s spokesman, Mr Joseph Obari, made the clarification in a statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria in Yenagoa on Sunday.

Obari said the claim by the Nembe community that the company had a pending oil spill and gas flare liabilities to it were unfounded.

NAN recalls that the Nembe Oil and Gas Committee alleged that the company has outstanding oil spill and gas flare liabilities to the community.

The committee had also urged investors interested in acquiring Shell’s interests in oil fields in the area to investigate the alleged pending liabilities to the community before acquiring them.

Obari further maintained that SPDC had conducted its businesses in the Nembe oil field according to the best industry practice.

“Our operations in Nembe community are within the limits of the applicable environmental legislation,” he said.

He said there was no record of any liability arising from SPDC Joint Venture oil and gas exploration in Nembe.

He explained that there was abundant evidence of beneficial relationship between SPDC and the people, adding that the oil firm responded promptly to spill incidents during its operations in the area.

“As a standard practice, we clean up all spills emanating from our facilities irrespective of its cause. SPDC has never neglected to clean up and properly remediate any oil spill in Nembe.

“The sites of all oil spills which occurred in Nembe up to 2012 have been 100 per cent remediated and the 2013 spill site is about 80 per cent remediated.

“When the cause of spill is not sabotage, SPDC provides relief materials and pays compensation to affected individuals and communities, where appropriate.

“Gas flaring from the exploration activities of SPDC within Nembe kingdom is well within the legally allowable limits with no negative impact on people and the environment,” he said.

The spokesman said that independently verified studies conducted on the health impact of gas flaring revealed no adverse health implications on communities.

Obari said that SPDC had spent N1.3bn on development projects in Nembe, through the Global Memorandum of Understanding scheme, between 2007 and 2012.

He further said that the company contributed 70 per cent of the cost of the ongoing Ogbia-Nembe Road project, being executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission.

“At present, SPDC is responsible for the supply of electricity to Nembe Kingdom and will, this year, complete a project to provide about eight megawatts of electricity to the kingdom and neighbouring communities.

“There is, therefore, no basis for a one billion dollar claim against the SPDC Joint Venture by any group,” he said.

Obari said the company cherished the peaceful disposition of the Nembe people and was committed to the development of the kingdom.

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