On Wednesday, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) denied claims that it violated Nigerian Content laws at the EA fields in Bayelsa.
On Monday, the Ijaw Youth Congress alleged that SPDC had excluded indigenous players from its operations at the EA fields in breach of the community content guidelines.
The content guidelines were set out by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The youth group also said it would resist any plot to exclude the host community by mobilising for a protest that would ground operations at the oil fields if the policy was not reversed.
The group also urged President Muhammadu Buhari (the petroleum minister) and the NNPC Limited leadership to prevail on SPDC to rethink and reciprocate the peaceful disposition of the host communities.
SPDC operates the EA shallow offshore fields off the Bayelsa coastline, deploying a floating production storage and offloading vessel that can process and hold 1.4 million barrels of crude.
Reacting to the allegations of breach of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD), SPDC said it was a leading player in developing local capacity in the oil and gas sector.
In a statement issued by its spokeswoman Abimbola Essien-Nelson said Shell awarded contracts worth $1.9 billion to Nigerian companies and worked with NCDMB in building the capacity of Nigerian companies in the oil and gas sector.
“The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited Joint Venture (SPDC JV) is committed to the development of businesses in the Niger Delta. Working with government and community stakeholders, we have supported capacity development in several Niger Delta-owned businesses,” the statement said.
The Shell statement added that the case in hand “is a scheduled review of our logistics contracting process that has been in place for years” and that the “review was supervised by the NNPC Upstream Investments Management Services (NUIMS) and the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB).”
Shell added, “It was, however, conducted via an open and transparent bidding process which resulted in the entrance of several new contractors. The bid winners consist of some of these new companies, as well as companies previously involved in the contract. All the bid winners, which are Nigerian companies, demonstrated their commercial and technical competencies, as well as compliance with Nigerian Content regulations.”
The energy firm pledged that it would continue to support the development of local communities and companies, stating that in 2022, the SPDC Joint Venture, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) and Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) awarded contracts worth $1.9 billion to Nigerian-registered companies.
“Additionally, in 2022, the SPDC JV, SNEPCo and SNG invested $5.6 million in education programmes and contributed $34.29 million in direct social investment. Social investment was mainly in projects related to community, health, education, road safety and enterprise programmes,” it revealed. “These projects are often implemented in partnership with local authorities and contractors.”
According to the statement, an additional $56.13 million has been earmarked to be paid in 2023 by the SPDC JV and SNEPCo for a statutory contribution to Host Communities Development Trusts (HCDTs), which will benefit Nigerian communities.