Shell Nigeria Says Local Community Threatening EA Operations

Oil operations at Shell Nigeria's 100,000 bpd EA field are in jeopardy following threats from communities living near the site, Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria said in a notice placed in The Guardian newspaper Sunday.

SPDC, a unit of Royal/Dutch Shell Group Of Cos. (RD), said a group from the nearby communities has issued threats directed at its staff and contractors operating the shallow offshore field.

The two-page notice said: "Specifically, the group has, through letters and press releases, announced that the safety of our personnel is in jeopardy if we did not provide employment and contracts for the neighboring communities."

The group issuing these open threats is well known, and has in the past carried out unwarranted attacks on our facilities," it said.

EA began operations last December and achieved a 100,000 b/d production rate in June this year. The target production rate is 150,000 b/d.

Last August, Shell said that 30 out of a planned 35 wells for the first phase of the development of the field had been completed. The wells have a combined potential of 129,000 b/d and a developed ultimate recovery of 294 million stock tank barrels.

Disruption of oil-production activities, including hostage-taking of workers, is common in the Niger Delta, as host communities seek to wrest compensation from companies. Shell is the largest oil producer in Nigeria, with its current production of one million b/d production accounting for nearly half of Nigeria's output.