Port Harcourt — The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited JV, SPDC JV, has expressed delight on the planned construction of the Olobiri Museum and Research Centre in Otuabagi, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The Olobiri Museum and Research Centre is being developed as a collaboration by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF; Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB; Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC and the Bayelsa State Government.
The Managing Director of SPDC, Mr Osagie Okunbor, described the project as history in the making as he expressed optimism that the centre when completed would foster research and development of technologies for the nation’s energy industry.
Okunbor, speaking on behalf of the SPDC JV, recalled that Oloibiri was the first place where crude oil was found in commercial quantity, launching Nigeria into the comity of oil producing countries.
He urged the people of Oloibiri clan to own, protect and take pride in the historical and future relevance of the facility, while also taking advantage of the many opportunities it will offer.
“This is history in the making and the SPDC Joint Venture is proud to be associated with it. Indeed, the energy story of Nigeria has come home! It was here in 1958 that Shell opened the first pages of the history of energy in Nigeria.
“The first commercial find of hydrocarbons was here in Oloibiri and the subsequent first export of oil which launched Nigeria into the league of oil producers was also from here. More than six decades later, the social investments of Shell in Oloibiri, both as a sole sponsor and in collaboration with our joint venture partners has been a testament to the importance of the historic event that occurred here, over six decades ago,” Okunbor said.
He added: “The Shell Group, in recognition of the pivotal place of Oloibiri in Nigeria, commissioned, in 2019 and later in 2022, one of the biggest Shell health interventions programs anywhere in Nigeria.
“This intervention involved the commissioning of a fully remodeled and equipped general hospital at Kolo, fully equipped laboratories in the College of Health Technology, Otuogidi, solar-powered water treatment facilities for the communities, the Oloibiri Health Campus at Oloibiri town, and the Ogbia Safe Maternal and Infant Care Programme, amongst other health interventions within Oloibiri and its environs.
“The SPDC JV therefore commends the effort of the Federal Executive Council in the step-by-step approach that has culminated in the approval for construction and the contract award to develop the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre.
“There is no doubt in my mind that, when concluded, this museum and research centre will be a one-stop shop in the heart of the Niger Delta for the development of technologies for the energy of today and the energy of tomorrow. I expect that the centre will grow to collaborate with relevant academic institutions in the Niger Delta and beyond, to further the much-needed handshake between the energy industry in Nigeria and the academia.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, has said that the centre would correct a historical oversight that lasted for several decades during which time the people of Bayelsa State complained that they had nothing to show for being the birthplace of oil and gas production in Nigeria.
“Mr. President approved the establishment of the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center as part of his signature programmes that would leave behind enduring legacies and impact the Oil and Gas Community, the people of the Niger Delta, and indeed the entire country,” he said.
Follow us on twitter