29 May 2015, Yenagoa, Nigeria – Two oilfields run by Nigerian Agip Oil Co. Ltd, a unit of Italian oil major ENI, were shut down this week in the Niger delta region by local communities over disputes with the company, the protesters said on Wednesday.
Oil production in the delta, in the southeast of Africa’s biggest crude exporter and largest economy, has often been disrupted by locals frustrated at the lack of development in their communities.
A spokesman for Eni said the company had no immediate comment.
One group represented by the Agrisaba Oil and Gas Committee said on Wednesday it had shut down an oil facility in the Nembe 5 region following disputes, including over the provision of jobs for locals.
“The community has therefore decided that the facility be shut down till further notice until such a time that all these knotty issues have been resolved,” it said in a statement.
Separately, the Egbebiri community shut down six wells at the Idu oilfield on Monday, two members said, citing various grievances, including an allegation the company owed money for the guarding of its wells since 2014 and that it had failed to pay compensation for oil spills.
The Egbebiri shut down the same oilfield last year for similar reasons.
It was not clear how much oil overall output was impacted by the two shutdowns. Community members often do not have detailed information.
Last week, protesters shut down crude oil production at two flow stations of the Nembe oilfield over what they said was the sell-off of the region’s energy wealth without the approval of its inhabitants.
The protesters, mostly young men, arrived in about 30 speedboats and climbed the fence at one station with no resistance, and dodged security at the other.
Jonathan Omugu, a youth leader in the Nembe community involved in the protest, said these flow stations were still shut on Wednesday.
*Tife Owolabi, Julia Payne, Stephen Jewkes; Alexis Akwagyiram & Julia Payne; editing by James Macharia & Alison Williams – Reuters