20 December 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – The Anglo-Dutch giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) yesterday it had committed the sum N3.911bn for community development programmes as part of the implementation of the Gbaran-Ubie project in Bayelsa State.
This, according to the company, is in addition to other projects implemented by the contractors and sub contractors.
Vice President, HSE & Corporate Affairs, Tony Attah stated this in an address at a ceremony in Yenagoa formally marking the transition from project to operations phase.
He expressed the hope that the community leaders would continue to sustain the mutually beneficial relationship established the company and the various communities during the first phase of the project.
SPDC, he recalled, signed the Project Global Memorandum of Understanding (PGMoU) with four clusters covering 44 communities when construction started. These were Gbaran/Ekpetiama, Okordia/Zarama, Kolo Creek and Epie/Atissa.
Accordiing to him, under the terms of the agreement, the clusters chose and executed their own projects with funding provided by SPDC under the project.
Mr. Attah said, “we commend members of the Project Advisory Committees of the four clusters, community leaders as well as the implementation of NGOs for their commitment and hard work. Their efforts ensured the fulfillment of the community development projects and resulted in the delivery of the Gbaran-Ubie Project ahead of schedule.”
The operations phase also means a transition from the Project GMoUs to regular GMoU, Mr. Attah explained, adding “in regular GMoU, community people will still choose and implement projects, with funding from SPDC. We are happy that one of the clusters, Okordia/Zarama has already transited smoothly to the new dispensation.”
“SPDC operates 11 regular GMoUs in Bayelsa State. Gbaran-Ubie is one of the largest oil and gas projects in Nigeria, with facilities encompassing five oil and as fields in a 650 square kilometre area. Work began on the project in 2005 and it achieved first oil in June last year with 200 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d). On the 5th of February this year, the project recorded one billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (bscf/d) production, ahead of schedule.”
In his remarks, the paramount ruler of Gbarain Kingdom, King Funpere Akah commended the company for its developmental efforts in the area even as he called on SPDC to invest more in the communities.
Others who spoke at the occasion also called on the company to invest more in the communities in the interest of peace.