Port Harcourt — The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited has tasked independent oil operators in the country, on the need to be committed to environmentally responsible operations.
The advice may not be unconnected to the incessant cases of oil spills and uncontrollable wellhead blowout recorded by independent operators in recent time, namely Aiteo and the ongoing spills at Cawthorne Channel well15 operated by Eroton.
Speaking, the Head, Corporate Relations at SPDC, Mr Igo Weli, explained that the sustainability and development of the Niger Delta region depends on oil and gas operations that seeks continuous environmental improvement.
Weli who spoke at the 5th NESH Oil and Gas Roundtable Conference in Port Harcourt, said SCiN remains committed to operating in an environmental responsible manner, urging Independents to emulate the multinational and be committed to protecting the environment.
He further urged Independents to constantly monitor environmental conditions in line with the relevant regulatory requirements and their internal controls.
“Shell Companies in Nigeria remain committed to operating its facilities in a responsible manner with due regard for the environment. The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, as operator of the SPDC Joint Venture (SPDC-JV), and pioneer carries this standard proudly as a beacon for the industry.
“Independents currently playing in the industry, and those to come, in the future, should have similar responsibilities and their commitment to environment protection should be robust and sustained.
“The long-term sustainability and development of the Niger Delta region relies on regulatory compliant, responsible, oil and gas operations that manage the risks to the environment and seeks opportunities for continuous (environmental) improvement.
“As in the SPDC JV, senior managers at Independents need to be committed to environmentally responsible operations as environmental protection starts from the top.
The managers need to be supported by capable and qualified environmental and operations personnel with requisite financial resources so that environmental protection is effectively integrated into business planning and execution.”
The SPDC image boss also recommended an environmental management strategy that will cater for spills, environmental complaint, monitoring, EIA, etc, emphasising that operators, whether large or small need to comply with stipulated regulatory requirements.
“SPDC JV’s experience shows that environmental management is multi-faceted with action needed on many levels e.g., spills management, environmental compliance, permit monitoring, planning for projects via environmental impact assessment to Green House Gas management etc. A coherent Environmental Strategy that ensures each of these aspects meets environmental regulation, local needs and protects the environment is recommended.
“At the SPDC, we are currently reflecting on optimising our portfolio. But as we do this, SPDC remains committed to its current environmental responsibilities. This commitment won’t change.
“Should there be any need for review, such responsibilities will be defined with the relevant stakeholders. In the event that an Independent should become responsible for managing some current SPDC assets (post-deal) they should continue to operate in an environmentally responsible manner, just as SPDC strives to do now.’
“All operators large or small need to comply with stipulated regulatory requirements, SPDC routinely carries out environmental compliance monitoring of soil, sediments, noise and air quality, rainwater, deck drainage, bilge, sewage and aqueous effluents, groundwater and surface water at its oil and gas production facilities to ensure the controls in place are managing and mitigating any potential contamination or pollution. Like SPDC-JV delivering on the environmental management promises is key to environmental protection in the region.
“Independents need to be prepared to monitor conditions daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly in line with the relevant regulatory requirements and their internal controls. Internal Resource capacity to collate, review, and submit ECM results/reports to the regulators (NUPRC, NAPIMS and FMEnv) is required.”
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