A crude production flow station operated by Conoil Producing Limited at Ango field in Koluama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, has been shut following a protest by the host community.
The company is owned by Mike Adenuga, the owner of Globacom PLC.
Workers at the onshore facility connecting to oil wells within the swamps and creeks in the area have since been evacuated from the area in speedboats by armed security men who were invited to the community to ensure the safety of the personnel.
The aggrieved members of the community had besieged the facility in the early hours of Tuesday, forcing the oil workers to shut down the 30,000 barrels per day capacity flow station and vacate the area.
Community leader in Koluama 1, a rural settlement along the Atlantic coast, Young Fabby, is quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as say that the oil facility was shut down following angry protest by the people against alleged insensitivity by the oil firm which has refused to discharge its social responsibility obligations to the people.
Fabby is quoted to have said that the aggrieved community shut down the company’s operations at the flow station on Monday and sacked its workers deployed to run the oil facility following Conoil’s failure to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which expired since 2020.
“The Koluama clan was compelled to take the action following the refusal of the oil company to dialogue with the people on several outstanding issues, amongst which is the MoU which expired for more than one year. All entreaties through established channels have been rebuffed,” Secretary of Koluama Kingdom Oil&Gas Committee, Jonathan Amabebe, said. Amabebe drew attention to the refusal of the management of Conoil to dialogue with the people over the issues, describing the company’s conducts as regrettable.
NAN said when the Media Relations Manager at Conoil PLC, Abiodun Azeez, was contact for the company’s reaction, he declined to respond to enquiries.
“All efforts to get the reaction of the oil firm by e-mail, short message services and telephone calls also remained unanswered,” NAN said.
Howeverthe Commandant of Nigeria Security and civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state, Christiana Abiakam-Omanu, confirmed the development.
Abiakam-Omanu said members of the Conoil’s host communities were at the oilfield to protest, but that only the operator of the field (Conoil) could confirm if it was shut or not. (NAN)