Shell Company Goes Back Olobiri
1 Aug 2006
Author: Abdulwahab Isa
After several years of suspending oil exploration at Olobiri, Bayelsa state, Shell Petroleum Development Company has announced plans to commence exploration work in the community.
Production in the Niger Delta will rise by 500,000 barrels per day by the third quarter of 2006, the federal government hopes. Olobiri holds the ace for crude oil discovery in Nigeria Shell having made the first oil discovery in Nigeria there in 1956. The first oil export followed in 1956 but Shell abandoned the place some years back due to a disagreement they had with the local community.
Announcing the company's intention to resume oil exploration at Oloibiri yesterday in Abuja at the on-going 30th Annual conference of the Society of Petroleum Engi-neers (SPE), Shell Managing Director, Mr. Basil Omiyi, said "Olobiri, for us remains the metaphor for oil and gas. We have two exploration wells for 2007 and 2008". He did not explain how Shell intends to reconcile with the host communities. Speak ing at the occasion, Minister of State for Petro-leum Resources, Dr. Edmund Daukoru, whose remarks dwelt on "Nigeria's Role in Global Energy Balance-From Oloibiri to Deep Offshore and Beyond" had taken participants through the history of oil development in Nigeria with Oloibiri at the centre of a historic breakt-hrough in oil and gas.
According to the minister "Nigeria's oil reserves by the late 90's was about 28 billion barrels. Discoveries in deep water concessions has not only added 7 billion barrels of oil to the national res-erves but also about 26tcf out of the total of 187tcf of gas within a period of seven years. World oil demand in 2005 averaged 83.10mbd. Non OPEC supply in 2005 amounted to 54.49mbd while OPEC produced 29.88mbd in the same period. Expected rise in global demand in 2006 is about 1.40mbd to reach 84.50mbd. Demand for OPEC crude is expected to average about 30mbd. OPEC is therefore strategically positioned to cope with the energy needs of a fast growin g global economy."
Against the foregoing scenario, Daukoru said Nigeria is positioned to play an important role in OPEC's effort to keep the international market well supplied in 2006 under normal conditions, adding that key production projects in deep offshore areas of the Niger Delta were expected to raise production by 500,000 barrels per day by the third quarter of 2006.