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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 27th Dec 2011, 16:56
  #4441 (permalink)  
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Another update that shows Shell's commitment to openness:

Update on SNEPCo response to Bonga oil leak: Journalists to visit area today

Lagos, Nigeria, December 26, 2011 – A group of international and Nigerian journalists will today fly to an area off the coast of Nigeria to see for themselves how the oil that leaked from SNEPCo’s Bonga facility has largely dispersed. This follows an overflight by Nigeria’s Minister for the Environment and the Director General of NOSDRA on Saturday 24 December.

Less than 40,000 barrels of oil leaked on December 20 2011 during a routine operation to transfer oil from Bonga’s floating production, storage and off-take (FPSO) vessel to an oil tanker. Since the leak, teams from SNEPCo have worked around the clock with international oil spill experts, using a combination of dispersants and booms to tackle the leaked oil. SNEPCo will continue to monitor the area using boats, aircraft and satellite imagery, and will take appropriate steps to disperse any further persistent oil sheens.

In addition to seeing how the oil from Bonga has largely dispersed, the journalists will be taken by helicopter to see where third party oil, believed to have been spilled from another vessel in the area, has hampered SNEPCo’s efforts to tackle the leak from Bonga. This oil has come ashore on short areas of coastline. SNEPCo will clean up this oil, both on and offshore.

Mutiu Sunmonu, Shell Nigeria’s country chair, said: “It’s important for the media, and the public, to see not only the results of our successful efforts to tackle the leak from Bonga, but also how third party activity has made the operation more challenging.

"While we do not believe the new oil is from Bonga, – and we are carrying out analysis to verify this – as a prudent corporate citizen, SNEPCo will tackle all the oil its teams can see offshore or which has come onshore in this area, including oil spilled by third parties. All necessary measures will be taken to protect the coastline, wildlife and the communities that live there, and where necessary to clean onshore areas. We do not believe that any of the oil from Bonga has reached the shore.”
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 18:17
  #4442 (permalink)  
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Thumbs down

Another update that shows Shell's commitment to openness
OMG, he's back and we all hoped he'd been given away as a Christmas present - but whoever got him obviously wanted him as much as we do . He's like herpes - the gift nobody wants but nobody can get rid of

OK, that's the seasonal greetings out of the way, now let's look at the Shell corporate brainwashing nonsense, backed up with the usual concrete evidence, i.e., if Shell says something it's true . Now of course, if you visit the university of Google, Shell has set up its hijacking system (seems the Delta militants had something useful to teach them ), but if you bypass this and go to find out what the rest of the world thinks and see that Shell wants to assure everybody that any oil spills now are from other companies .

Journalists, suitably brainwashed (that's if most journalists have any brains to be washed) have been flown over an area of ocean to see that there's no oil there (and of course the journalists know exactly where they are and what was there 3 days ago ).

Just remember my last post
Chemical dispersants are themselves toxic - they're not just lots of bulk Fairy Liquid. They work just like dishwashing liquid because they break down the surface oil into millions of tiny droplets which become suspended in the top 30 - 50 foot layer under the surface. Shell then, of course says that the leak has dispersed, but it didn't just vanish to nowhere.
and then decide if Shell has used its corporate magic to transform everything to an area as pure as the source of Ragolis spring water now

OK SM, you've convinced me, I loom forward to the photos of you drinking your bag of Bonga 'pure watta' as evidence of your belief in the Shell corporate utter BS . I expect you'll be eating a New Year's eve feast of Bonga fish washed down by the pure spring water from the Boiga field - cr*p try and still no coconut
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 10:24
  #4443 (permalink)  
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There is no need to be so coarse just because you don't like the actuality.

Bonga oil spill: Senate c’ttee okay with clean up

Chairman Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Bukola Saraki has expressed satisfaction on the prompt and effective way Shell responded on the Bonga oil spill.

Senator Saraki told journalist on his arrival from the oil facility which lies 120km southwest of the Niger Delta, in a water depth of over 1,000m with members of the committee that the committee is impressed with what shell has done.

The chairman said “ we just came back from the oil facility of Bonga where the oil toke place and the executives committee saw that a lot of work has been done by shell to curtail the oil spill and they were able to respond because they are up to the task and that is what we expect from other oil companies that are operating in Nigeria”.

“We have also witness a third party oil spill but we cannot say if it from Bonga or not but the third party oil spill has reached the shore line. But we want to appeal the communities that are affected to allow for a proper investigation and test to be carried out in order to ascertain the source of the third oil spill. We want to ensure that as a committee that we bring home the best international standard in dealing with issues like this” he said.

Vice chairman of the committee Professor Ben Ayade noted that oil spills on the shore of the Niger Delta region are not crude, some of them are refine products added that shell has done the right thing and has to be commended for their prompt response.

It was earlier reported that The Minister of Environment Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia indicated that the Bonga oil spill that occurred on the 20thof December 2011 will require six weeks for a complete clean up.

Mailafia who inspected of the oil spill which lies 120km southwest of the Niger Delta, in a water depth of over 1,000m by the joint team of the ministry, Shell, NOSDRA, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service and other technical partners said:

“For a complete clean up, we are looking at six weeks and to put things under control. We have brought in experts and we currently have seven vessels, two air craft and two helicopters that are making use of dispersants to clean the massive oil spill at the Bonga deepwater offshore facility and to ensure that the spill does not reach the shore line”.

She also added that shell has been cooperating with the ministry of environment, the National Oil Spill Detective Response Agency (NOSDRA) and the Marine tine Safety department.

Mailafia commended shell for giving out accurate report on the total amount oil spilled (40 thousand barrels of oil) and for their quick response to the spill adding that proper investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause of the oil spill.

The Minister admitted that the spill will affect aquatic life but effort are in place to ensure that the spill does not hit the shore line adding that the Nigerian Custom and Immigration has been helpful since the incident occurred on Tuesday last week.

The minister, the Director-General, NOSDRA, Sir Peter Idabor, and the Deputy Director, NIMASA, Captain Warredi Enisuoh, flew offshore to review clean-up efforts in response to the Bonga oil leak.

Bonga is the first deepwater project for the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) and for Nigeria. The discovery well is located in oil prospecting license (OPL) 212, which was awarded during Nigeria’s first round of deepwater frontier acreage awards in 1993.

SNEPCO operates the field on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under a production sharing contract, in partnership with Esso (20%), Nigeria Agip (12.5%) and Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (12.5%).

Crude oil production from the field started in November 2005 and the first shipment from the field was made in February 2006. Production was stopped temporarily due to a militant attack in June 2008 and was resumed later in the same month.
Even envionmental charities using space sattelites confirm that there are other polluters far worse than Shell such as ships cleaning their tanks:
SkyTruth: Oil Pollution off Nigeria - Other Sources?

And finally, well done to all the Caverton personnel who have been flying to support the clean up operation.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 12:19
  #4444 (permalink)  
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The actuality is exactly as I stated, chemical dispersants are themselves toxic - they're not just lots of bulk Fairy Liquid. They work just like dishwashing liquid because they break down the surface oil into millions of tiny droplets which become suspended in the top 30 - 50 foot layer under the surface. Shell then, of course says that the leak has dispersed, but it didn't just vanish to nowhere.

In the SkyTruth article, which you so helpfully label, "Oil Pollution Off Nigeria - Other Sources" it's actually a Shell spokesman who claims part of the spill is from another vessel
The country chair for Shell Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, has said that the cleanup efforts have been hampered by oil spilled by another vessel in the area. “Our teams witnessed oil on the surface of the water that they are sure did not come from Bonga,” he said. “We have taken samples of this oil to understand where it came from.”
Here's another quote from SkyTruth
Assuming Shell, like most successful companies, is fanatical about inventory control they should be able to provide an accurate measurement by comparing the amount pumped out of the FPSO with the amount that actually ended up in the shuttle tanker. Flow meters on the pumps and transfer lines, and gauges in the tanks, should allow them to calculate the spill with precision. Let's ask them for those numbers and settle the question.

Regardless of the specific amount spilled, we're left with some troubling questions, most notably: how could up to 1.7 million gallons of oil steadily leak into the ocean before anybody noticed and took action? The crack in one of the transfer lines that Shell blames for this leak looks like it could only divert about 5-10% of the flow through that line. How long would that take to amount to 1.7 million gallons? This is just the latest example of the many mundane, low-tech ways that modern offshore oil production still poses risks -- even when it's being done by one of the biggest, technically accomplished, retail-brand-sensitive multinational oil companies (hmm, that sounds familiar...).
And finally, well done to all the Caverton personnel who have been flying to support the clean up operation
Presumably all the DanCopter personnel and non-flying staff are totally irrelevant to important safety managers such as yourself then
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 13:22
  #4445 (permalink)  
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If Shell so closely watches the inventory and such....how about the Tankers that load at the BOP and depart without any fanfare?

I guess they could tell us all about the bunkering of crude and diesel too then?

Nah...that ain't gonna happen...too many fingers in that pie!
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 12:28
  #4446 (permalink)  
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Angry Oil Slick Hits Nigerian Coast

Reuters is reporting that local villagers are blaming a large outbreak of pollution on the coast on Shell's high Bonga field oil spill. Shell of course dispute this, but with their record of distorting the truth, few believe them. They say they are taking samples to provide evidence that it is not Bonga oil, but SM is probably the only one who will believe them

Accusations Fly as Oil Slick Hits Nigerian Coast

(Reuters) - Nigerian villagers say oil washing up on the coast comes from a Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) loading accident last month that caused the biggest spill in Africa's top producer in more than 13 years.

Shell denies that any of the oil is from its 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) Bonga facility, 120 km offshore and accounting for 10 percent of monthly oil flows, which was shut down by the spill on December 20.

Shell says five ships were used to disperse and contain the spill and that this kept any oil from washing ashore.

But local villagers, as well as environmental and rights groups, dispute this account, saying the oil is still at large, coating parts of the coast, killing fish and sparking protests.

On Saturday, a Reuters team visited two of 13 villages whose residents say they were affected by the spill in the steamy swamps of the Niger Delta. In both, there were stretches of beach coated in a film of black sludge with a rainbow tint.

In one, two children skipped along the beach, dodging the puddles of sticky ooze.

Villagers in Orobiri, Delta state, spent much of the day scooping crude from the water in plastic buckets and jerrycans.

"When this spill occurred, we called on Shell to come and do a clean up, ... but since then, they have not turned up, so we the communities now did a clean-up instead," said Jacob Ajuju, the paramount chief of Orobiri village, surrounded by rows of assorted buckets and containers full of crude.

As he spoke, dozens of women villagers marched in protest at the spill, their heads adorned with leafy branches to symbolise unhappiness. Others continued to tip the oil from jerrycans into large plastic drums.

"On Christmas day, all the women you see here, were just at the seaside parking this oil into the jerrycans," said Dennis Igolobuabe, Orobiri community youth president.


Shell says no oil from the spill washed up on the coast.

"We believe the oil on the beach is not from Bonga. We made significant progress every day to disperse the oil that leaked from Bonga," Shell Nigeria spokesman Precious Okolobo told Reuters in an emailed statement.

"We are confident that any oil of that age, colour and consistency that hits the beach is not ours. We are taking samples ... which will be reviewed to provide evidence that this is not Bonga oil on the beach," he added.

Okolobo suggested the oil may have been from "a third party spill which appeared to be from a vessel, in the middle of an area that we had previously cleaned up".

Spills by all oil companies operating in the region are common, and it is sometimes hard to tell whose is whose.

On another beach near Agga village, a man on a motorbike paused to look at scores of silvery fish washed up dead.

"Before this spill came, we were already been informed by Shell in Warri (the main town in the region) during a meeting that this is what is coming ... It's a calamity," said Joseph Gbuebo, community secretary for Agga.

"On the 25th of this month, we saw some helicopters flying, dropping some chemicals along the shore, but this has been injurious to our health," he added.

Shell's pipelines in Nigeria's onshore Niger delta have spilled several times. The company usually blames such leaks on sabotage attacks and rampant oil theft.

BP's (BP.L) Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico ruptured in April last year, spewing nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the sea in what was the worst U.S. marine oil spill. The disaster brought intense negative publicity for BP.

But in Nigera, spills are so commonplace they often go unnoticed by the outside world.

Bonga had been due to load around 161,000 bpd on five tankers in January, according to oil loading programmes, and its closure has boosted prices for other Nigerian crude grades.

A U.N. report in August criticised Shell and the Nigerian government for contributing to 50 years of pollution in a Niger Delta region that it said needs the world's largest oil clean-up, costing an initial $1 billion and taking up to 30 years.

(Additional reporting and writing by Tim Cocks in Abuja; Editing by Alistair Lyon)
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 15:37
  #4447 (permalink)  
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Thumbs down Boko Haram Gives Christians 3 Days to Leave North of Nigeria

AFP is reporting that the islamist militant group Boko Haram has given a three day ultimatum to Christians living in the northern parts of Nigeria to move away. It's difficult to see what the government can effectively do and a number of Nigerians are now talking about the prospect that the military may return of president Goodluck Jonathan is unable or unwilling to take decisive action soon.

Boko Haram spokesman sends threat to Nigeria's Christians
Agence France-Presse

Jan 2, 2012
MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA // A purported spokesman for the Nigerian Islamist group, Boko Haram, has issued an ultimatum to Christians in the country's north and threatened to confront troops after the president declared a state of emergency in hard-hit areas.

Abul Qaqa - who has spoken on behalf of the group, which is blamed for scores of attacks in Africa's most populous nation, numerous times in the past - said he would give southerners in the north a three-day ultimatum to leave.

"We find it pertinent to state that soldiers will only kill innocent Muslims in the local government areas where the state of emergency was declared," he said on Sunday.

"We would confront them squarely to protect our brothers," he added. "We also wish to call on our fellow Muslims to come back to the north because we have evidence that they would be attacked.

"We are also giving a three-day ultimatum to the southerners living in the northern part of Nigeria to move away."

Boko Haram is believed to include different factions with varying aims, its structure remains unclear and other people have claimed to speak on its behalf.

Nigeria population is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.

Muslims have been victims of Boko Haram attacks, but a wave of Christmas-day bombings particularly targeting churches set off fears of retaliation from Christians.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency on Saturday in parts of four states hard hit by violence blamed on Boko Haram.

The declaration came in response to scores of attacks attributed to Boko Haram, particularly the bombings on Christmas that killed 49 people, most of them in a blast at a Catholic church as services were ending.

Mr Qaqa also criticised Mr Jonathan over his visit to a Catholic church outside Abuja on Saturday. The church was the site of the bloodiest Christmas-day attack, with an explosion killing 44 people there as services were ending.

"The president had never visited any of the theatres were Muslims were massacred," he said, naming areas where scores of Muslims were killed in post-election riots in April.

While Boko Haram has been carrying out increasingly deadly attacks for months, including an August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja that left 25 dead, the Christmas violence sparked intense fear and outrage.

It also led to warnings from Christian leaders that they would defend themselves if such attacks continued.
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Old 3rd Jan 2012, 03:56
  #4448 (permalink)  
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At least removing the fuel subsidies should help calm things down a bit......
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Old 3rd Jan 2012, 17:44
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Thumbs down Removal of Fuel Subsidy

"At least removing the fuel subsidies should help calm things down a bit....."
Ah 212 man, how right you are

By Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Protesters shut petrol stations, formed human barriers along motorways and hijacked buses in Nigeria's biggest city Lagos on Tuesday in anger at the shock doubling of fuel prices, and one demonstrator was reported shot dead in the country's west.

The fuel regulator announced the end of fuel subsidies on Sunday under sweeping economic reforms meant to improve fiscal discipline in Africa's biggest oil-producing state, but a hugely unpopular act that could cause social unrest in the short term.

More than 1,000 people in the main market area of central Lagos sang, chanted and waved placards reading "no to fuel price hikes" and "we demand living wages".

Protests also occurred in other parts of Nigeria, including Kano in the north, the Niger Delta in the southeast and in Ilorin, Kwara State, in the west, where the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) said one man was shot to death.

"The victim was shot dead around the Post Office... The perpetrators of this crime were armed policemen," a statement said. "We hold the Jonathan administration liable for murder."

Police spokesman Yemi Ajayi said he had received no report of a protester being shot.

In Lagos, a group of demonstrators set up a roadblock of burning tyres on a major highway. Police in riot gear kept watch but the protest was largely peaceful apart from a brief scuffle between a protestor and a soldier, a Reuters witness said.

Protesters in President Goodluck Jonathan's Niger Delta home region in the southeast, including former militants who wreaked havoc until a series of peace deals ending in 2010, blocked the Warri-Port Harcourt highway, until three vanloads of soldiers turned up to chase them away.

In the city of Kano, in the far north, police arrested nine demonstrators but later released them, local police spokesman Magaji Majiaya said by telephone.


Economists say the subsidy filled the fuel tanks of middle-class motorists at the expense of the poor, encouraged massive corruption and waste, and handed over billions of dollars of government cash to a cartel of wealthy fuel importers.

Removing it pushed pump prices to 150 naira ($0.92) per litre from 65 naira overnight.

The subsidy removal is part of an effort to cut Nigeria's exorbitant cost of government, a flagship policy of Jonathan and his economic management team, alongside fixing the broken power sector and reducing waiting times for goods at ports.

Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iwealahas said scrapping the subsidy would save more than 1 trillion naira ($6.16 billion) in 2012. Central Bank governor Lamido Sanusi supports the move.

But with the majority of Nigerians living on less than $2 per day, slashing subsidies is politically explosive.

"The prices of everything will increase - transport, housing, school fees, food, etc. The common man will not be able to survive," said Ganiat Fawehinmi, widow of a human rights lawyer.

The Trades Union Congress and NLC called on Sunday for mass action to repeat strikes and street protests that thwarted previous attempts to do away with subsidies.

"Jonathan has shown that he can't be trusted," Issa Aremu, NLC vice president, told demonstrators. "He said he was engaging in dialogue and all of a sudden he ... increased the price."

Jonathan released a statement saying he had appointed a committee to ensure the money saved in subsidies was well spent.

Many Nigerians fear any savings made from the subsidy removal will be consumed by corrupt politicians.

The committee would produce monthly savings estimates and make sure the funds are transferred to a special account in the central bank which would finance programmes to alleviate poverty, Jonathan's statement said.

Lawmakers have been divided on the subsidy removal, leaving the future of the measure potentially in doubt.

If they decide to block it, they can add a subsidy to the 2012 budget which they have still to vote on. But they would need to find a way to pay for it, probably by cutting spending elsewhere. ($1 = 162.3000 naira) (Additional reporting by Mike Oboh in Kano, Tim Cocks and Camillus Eboh in Abuja, and Owen Segun in Yenagoa; Writing by Tim
There are quite a few photographs on the Sahara Reporters Photonews

Occupy Nigeria Fuel Protests

To many Europeans, the price per litre of petrol in Nigeria may seem very low compared with what they pay, but for the average Nigerian worker still living on less than $2 per day, the downstream effect of the subsidy removal is going to be enormous. It certainly doesn't help that in the way of politicians everywhere having their snouts in the trough and looking after themselves, the 2012 budget makes more than adequate provision to help ease the terrible financial burden of being a politician in Nigeria .

Amongst some of the examples of how senior politicians are looking after them selves
$1.75 million for new bulletproof limousines for the President Jonathan and Vice President Sambo (they'll probably need them with the growing fuel subsidy removal protests and increasing violence of Boko Haram).
$2.3 million for replacement of 'aged' vehicles in the presidential fleet - that will cause much pleasure to the average Nigerian queueing to catch a cr*ppy old Tokunbo bus whose fare has just doubled
$800,000 for refurbishing the presidential power house generators - no putting up with the many (and long) power cuts that the majority of poor Nigerians have to endure
The President will be spending $6.25 on food in 2012. Nutrients are essential and for the low, low price of a billion naira, the President and his Vice can get all their proteins and vitamins on a polished silver platter.
N477million is set aside for grocery shopping and “catering materials supplies” for the president’s office.
The poor masses of oil-rich Nigeria will also spend an additional $1.8 million to provide “refreshment and meals” for the president’s comfort at his home and office, and yes, that is different from the grocery shopping mentioned above.
$285,000 will be needed to buy canteen and “kitchen equipment” for the president’s household; they bought some of the same stuff from the 2011 budget, but that doubtless needs replacing now.
The money budgeted for presidential feeding would pay the average wages of 1,200 Nigerians for a year.
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Old 3rd Jan 2012, 18:42
  #4450 (permalink)  
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Many Nigerians fear any savings made from the subsidy removal will be consumed by corrupt politicians.
Cynical buggers aren't they?
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Old 3rd Jan 2012, 21:10
  #4451 (permalink)  
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Angry Shell Oil Spill Hits Shore, Fishing Suspended

Cynical buggers aren't they?
... sadly in Nigeria cynicism and realism are the same thing and will be as long as we continue to be ruled and governed by the morally corrupt kleptocrats, both military and civilian which have been our lot so far. It's sad that there are many Nigerians (and that doesn't mean most, who would welcome a return to military rule, or who think that only a division of the country into separate Muslim and Christian countries will fix the problem. Realistically, the military are just as kleptocratic, but better at keeping the peace (on the surface at least) and the only way the country would be divided would be after a religious war with horrendous loss of life and suffering.

Meanwhile, courtesy of other corrupt corporate entities, the

Nigerian officials have suspended fishing off the southern coast after about 40,000 barrels (1.7 million gallons) of crude oil was spilled from a Shell production platform in the Bonga oil field.
The oil leaked into the Atlantic Ocean on December 20, 2011 during what the company called a "routine operation" to transfer oil to a tanker from Shell's Bonga floating production, storage and off-take vessel.

The oily sheen covered an estimated 350-square-mile area off the oil-rich Niger Delta. Shell has shut down the entire Bonga oil field, a site 75 miles off the coast that produces 200,000 barrels of oil and gas a day.

An investigation is underway to determine how 40,000 barrels of oil spilled while being loaded onto the tanker. Shell says a break in a transfer line is to blame.

Since the leak, teams from the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCo, have worked around the clock with international oil spill experts, using a combination of dispersants and booms to control the leaked oil, the company said in a statement.

SNEPCo said on December 26 that the oil from the Bonga spill has "largely dispersed." The company helicoptered journalists over the spill on December 26 and then flew to a nearby location to see where, company officials said, "third party oil, believed to have been spilled from another vessel in the area, has hampered SNEPCo's efforts to tackle the leak from Bonga."

"This oil has come ashore on short areas of coastline. SNEPCo will clean up this oil, both on and offshore," the company said.

The company says it will continue to monitor the area using boats, aircraft and satellite imagery, and will "take appropriate steps to disperse any further persistent oil sheens."

But contrary to company statements downplaying the seriousness of the spill, local residents say it is spreading and has impacted 13 coastal villages. People living on the coast said Monday that officials are not doing enough to clean up the spill.

Fishermen in Akwa Ibom State are complaining about the suspension directive issued by the Nigerian Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Reverend Samuel Ayadi, who chairs the Akwa Ibom chapter of Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday.

NOSDRA head Sir Peter Idabor warns that the leak could be three times as large as Shell admits and may be the country's worst case of oil pollution in 10 years.

"This is potentially a major incident that is likely to affect the environment and the people for a long time," Idabor said.

Environmental groups say local beaches are coated with black sludge and drinking water has been polluted.

On Sunday, field monitors from the Nigerian group Environmental Rights Action, which is Friends of the Earth Nigeria, visited two affected communities in the Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, along the Dodo River.

The field monitors were accompanied by the national spokesman of the Ijaw Youth Council, Jeremiah Perekeme Oweipele, as well as two other members of the Council, a civil rights organization.

The team visited two fishing communities located where Dodo River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Shell has placed two oil containment booms, one on either side of the river.

City Saka, former chairman of the Community Development Committee of Bilabiri, one of the affected communities, told the monitoring team, "It is true that the Bonga spill spread to our community, Bilabiri. That was one of the subjects of discussion between Shell and the 13 communities in the area on December 29, 2011 at Wellington Hotel, Warri. Shell actually admitted that we were impacted by the spill from Bonga."

Environmental groups are demanding that the Nigerian government set up a team of expert stakeholders to investigate the spill. They want the government to compel Shell to state the actual amounts of oil spilled from its facility.

The groups also are demanding that Shell reveal the names and types of chemical dispersants used in fighting the spill. In addition, they want Shell to pay "adequate compensation for specific and general damage to victims of the Bonga spill."

"We are sorry this leak has happened," said Shell Nigeria Country Chair Mutiu Sunmonu. "As soon as we became aware of it, we stopped the flow of oil and mobilized our own resources, as well as industry expertise, to ensure its effects are minimized."

"It is important to stress that this was not a well control incident of any sort, and to make clear that no-one has been injured," said Sunmonu. "All necessary measures will be taken to protect the coastline, wildlife and the communities that live there, and where necessary to clean onshore areas."

The leak is Shell's first big offshore oil spill in Nigeria, however, the company's onshore operations are blamed for decades of petroleum pollution in the Niger Delta by environmental and human rights organizations.

The Bonga field is operated by Shell Nigeria, which owns 55 percent of the license. The other partners in field development are Exxon (20 percent), Nigerian AGIP (12.5 percent) and Elf Petroleum (12.5 percent).

The giant Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel became operational in 2004. It is permanently installed in water depths ranging from 1,000 to 1,125 meters. First oil production was made in November 2005.
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 21:20
  #4452 (permalink)  
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NLC Strike and the Fuel Subsidy

It's not very nice being in Nigeria today, with widespread protests against the government removal of the so-called fuel subsidy which has caused the price of petrol at the pump to double this month. However, Doctor Izielen Agbon, a Nigerian professor of petroleum engineering, now living in USA, has cast doubt on the real existence of a fuel subsidy.

By Dr. Izielen Agbon
On December 10, 2011, if you stopped at the Mobil filling station on Old Aba Road in Port Harcourt , you would be able to buy a litre of petrol for 65 naira or $1.66 per gallon at an exchange rate of $1/N157 and 4 litres per gallon. This is the official price. The government claims that this price would have been subsidized at N73/litre and that the true price of a litre of petrol in Port Harcourt is N138/litre or $3.52 per gallon.
They are therefore determined to remove their subsidy and sell the gallon at $3.52. But, On December 10, 2011, if you stopped at the Mobil Gas station on E83rd St and Flatlands Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, USA, you would be a able to buy a gallon of petrol for $3.52/gallon. Both gallons of petrol would have been refined from Nigerian crude oil. The only difference would be that the gallon in New York was refined in a US North East refinery from Nigerian crude exported from the Qua Iboe Crude Terminal in Nigeria while the Port Harcourt gallon was either refined in Port Harcourt or imported. The idea that a gallon of petrol from Nigerian crude oil cost the same in New York as in Port Harcourt runs against basic economic logic. Hence, Nigerians suspect that there is something irrational and fishy about such pricing. What they would like to know is the exact cost of 1 litre of petrol in Nigeria .

We will answer this question in the simplest economic terms despite the attempts of the Nigerian government to muddle up the issue. What is the true cost of a litre of petrol in Nigeria ? The Nigerian government has earmarked 445000 barrel per day throughput for meeting domestic refinery products demands. These volumes are not for export. They are public goods reserved for internal consumption. We will limit our analysis to this volume of crude oil. At the refinery gate in Port Harcourt, the cost of a barrel of Qua Iboe crude oil is made up of the finding /development cost ($3.5/bbl) and a production/storage /transportation cost of $1.50 per barrel.

Thus, at $5 per barrel, we can get Nigerian Qua Iboe crude to the refining gates at Port Harcourt and Warri. One barrel is 42 gallons or 168 litres. The price of 1 barrel of petrol at the Depot gate is the sum of the cost of crude oil, the refining cost and the pipeline transportation cost. Refining costs are at $12.6 per barrel and pipeline distribution cost are $1.50 per barrel. The Distribution Margins (Retailers, Transporters, Dealers, Bridging Funds, Administrative charges etc) are N15.49/litre or $16.58 per barrel. The true cost of 1 litre of petrol at the Mobil filling station in Port Harcourt or anywhere else in Nigeria is therefore ($5 +$12.6+$1.5+$16.6) or $35.7 per barrel . This is equal to N33.36 per litre compared to the official price of N65 per litre. Prof. Tam David West is right. There is no petrol subsidy in Nigeria . Rather the current official prices are too high. Let us continue with some basic energy economics.

The government claims we are currently operating our refineries at 38.2% efficiency. When we refine a barrel of crude oil, we get more than just petrol. If we refine 1 barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil, we will get 45 gallons of petroleum products. The 45 gallons of petroleum products consist of 4 gallons of LPG, 19.5 gallons of Gasoline, 10 gallons of Diesel, 4 gallons of Jet Fuel/Kerosene, 2.5 gallons of Fuel Oil and 5 gallons of Bottoms. Thus, at 38.2% of refining capacity, we have about 170000 bbls of throughput refined for about 13.26 million litres of petrol, 6.8 million litres of diesel and 2.72 million litres of kerosene/jet fuel.
This is not enough to meet internal national demand. So, we send the remaining of our non-export crude oil volume (275000 barrels per day) to be refined abroad and import the petroleum product back into the country. We will just pay for shipping and refining. The Nigerian government exchanges the 275000 barrels per day with commodity traders (90000 barrels per day to Duke Oil, 60000 barrels per day to Trafigura (Puma Energy), 60000 barrels per day to Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and 65000 barrels per days to unknown sources) in a swap deal. The landing cost of a litre of petrol is N123.32 and the distribution margins are N15.49 according to the government. The cost of a litre is therefore (N123.32+N15.49) or N138.81 . This is equivalent to $3.54 per gallon or $148.54 per barrel. In technical terms, one barrel of Nigerian crude oil has a volume yield of 6.6% of AGO, 20.7% of Gasoline, 9.5% of Kerosene/Jet fuel, 30.6% of Diesel, 32.6% of Fuel oil / Bottoms when it is refined.

Using a netback calculation method, we can easily calculate the true cost of a litre of imported petrol from swapped oil. The gross product revenue of a refined barrel of crude oil is the sum of the volume of each refined product multiplied by its price. Domestic prices are $174.48/barrel for AGO, $69.55/barrel for Gasoline (PMS or petrol), $172.22/barrel for Diesel Oil, $53.5/barrel for Kerosene and $129.68/barrel for Fuel Oil. Let us substitute the government imported PMS price of $148.54 per barrel for the domestic price of petrol/gasoline. Our gross product revenue per swapped barrel would be (174.48*0.066 +148.54*0.207+172.22*0.306+ 53.5*0.095+129.68*0.326) or $142.32 per barrel. We have to remove the international cost of a barrel of Nigerian crude oil ($107 per barrel) from this to get the net cost of imported swapped petroleum products to Nigerian consumers. The net cost of swapped petroleum products would therefore be $142.32 -$107 or $35.32 per barrel of swapped crude oil. This comes out to be a net of $36.86 per barrel of petrol or N34.45 per litre.

This is the true cost of a litre of imported swapped petrol and not the landing cost of N138 per litre claimed by the government. The pro-subsidy Nigerian government pretends the price of swapped crude oil is $0 per barrel (N0 per litre) while the resulting petroleum products is $148.54 per barrel (N138 per litre). The government therefore argues that the “subsidy” is N138.81-N65 or N73.81 per litre. But, if landing cost of the petroleum products is at international price ($148.54 per barrel), then the take-off price of the swapped crude oil should be at international price ($107 per barrel). This is basic economic logic outside the ideological prisms of the World Bank. The traders/petroleum products importers and the Nigerian government are charging Nigerians for the crude oil while they are getting it free.

So let us conclude this basic economic exercise. If the true price of 38.2% of our petrol supply from our local refinery is N33.36/litre and the remaining 61.8% has a true price of N34.45 per litre, then the average true price is (0.382*33.36+0.618*34.45) or N34.03 per litre. The official price is N65 per litre and the true price with government figures is about N34 per litre (even with our moribund refineries).

There is therefore no petrol subsidy. Rather, there is a high sales tax of 91.2% at current prices of N65 per litre. The labor leaders meeting the President should go with their economists. They should send economists and political scientists as representatives to the Senate Committee investigating the petroleum subsidy issue. There are many expert economists and political scientists in ASUU who will gladly represent the view of the majority. The labor leaders should not let anyone get away with the economic fallacy that the swapped oil is free while its refined products must be sold at international prices in the Nigerian domestic market.

The government should explain at what price the swapped crude oil was sold and where the money accruing from these sales have been kept. We have done this simple economic analysis of the Nigerian petroleum products market to show that there is no petrol subsidy what so ever. In the end, this debate on petrol subsidy and the attempt of the government to transfer wealth from the Nigerian masses to a petrol cabal will be decided in the streets. Nigerian workers, farmers, students, market women, youths, unemployed, NGO and civil society as a whole should prepare for a long harmattan season of protracted struggle. They should not just embark on 3 days strike/protests after which the government reduces the hiked petroleum prices by a few Nairas. They must embark upon in a sustainable struggle that will lead to fundamental changes. Let us remove our entire political subsidy from the government and end this petroleum products subsidy debate once and for all. It is time to bring the Arab Spring south.

Izielen Agbon Izielen Agbon writes from Dallas, Texas. [email protected]
He is former HOD , Petroleum Eng Dept, former ASUU chairman University of Ibadan, trained many operators in nation's energy industry with pratical experience on our practices and policy focus in the last 20yrs
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 22:09
  #4453 (permalink)  
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I would not want to be the Insurance Company who sold the good Doctor his life insurance policy.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 22:43
  #4454 (permalink)  
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Chevron fire

I gather Chevron have had a huge fire offshore in the Apoi field. The photos I've seen are not dissimilar to the BP disaster - possibly worse. 5-6 aircraft were out at night (in Harmattan) searching, I believe. The only Chevron press release I've seen so far seems somewhat understated
Chevron Nigeria rig still on fire, 2 missing | Reuters
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 14:02
  #4455 (permalink)  
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It's well knownthat I am not a great fan of Shell . However, I don't much like the muscle and dirty practices that any of the oil majors use to cover up their mistakes and/or shady practices, especially when it comes to having people murdered or covering up environmental disasters caused by their own cost cutting or ineptitude.

It seems very surprising that there's very little in the news either in Nigeria or world news about Chevron's disaster on the KS Endeavout (possibly because it's a gas fire, so there's little sea pollution compared with the recent Bonga leak ). They seem to have been very lucky that only 2 people are unaccounted for so far, and the few injured are not in a critical condition.. The fire seems likely to be burning for some considerable time until a Baltic rig arrives on scene to drill a relief well.


Well done on the aviation side to all the personnel from Bristow, Caverton and PAAN who were involved in the search for survivors and recovering people to the shore, flying by day and night in Harmattan visibility
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Old 12th Feb 2012, 13:44
  #4456 (permalink)  
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Captain Mobolaji Odunuga

RIP Biggie!!! You'll be missed!
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Old 12th Feb 2012, 21:27
  #4457 (permalink)  
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I just heard and I can't believe that a big man with such a big heart can have died after all he went through and survived already . How terribly sad, especially for his family to who my heart goes out. RIP big mon - your name lives on and you will be remembered in our hearts
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Old 12th Feb 2012, 22:04
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Very Sad

Is this the chap we know as "Big Mike"
Very Sad.
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Old 13th Feb 2012, 00:37
  #4459 (permalink)  
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Mike Odunuga? You're joking! That is very sad news indeed. Big heart, big laugh.....
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 12:38
  #4460 (permalink)  
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Big Mike

Any news on Big Mike's sad demise?, how, when etc etc.

RIP my friend

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