Niger Delta activists occupy Shell plant

ABUJA, August 14, 2017 – Hundreds of protesters took over a Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) flow station and gas plant in Rivers state on Friday calling for employment opportunities and improved infrastructure.

The activists demanded that the operations of the flow station be transferred to the local Belema Oil Company, saying they had not benefitted from hydrocarbons production in the region. Some demonstrators said they planned to stay at the facility for two weeks, while others said they would stay until their demands were met.


The company had evacuated staff the day before. Although the army dispatched an additional 30 troops to the facility, soldiers and security guards did not prevent the protesters from entering. 

“SPDC’s commitment to the welfare of host communities in the Niger Delta remains unshaken and, as such, [SPDC] decries the illegal occupation of Belema flow station and gas plant,” company spokesman Joe Obari told the media Saturday. 

The demonstration comes a week after acting President Yemi Osinbajo met with Pan Niger Delta Forum representatives and presented a series of measures to meet the demands of Niger Delta residents. On Thursday, eight Niger Delta militant groups announced they would resume bombings on oil and gas facilities in the region in September, rejecting the negotiations between the government and the forum. The same day, protesters in Delta state occupied Pan Ocean Oil Corporation facilities complaining of underdevelopment and environmental damage.

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