The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has decried what it described as illegal occupation of its Belema Flow Station by indigenes of Belema.
The residents of the community, in the early hours of Friday barricaded the Shell Flow Station at Belema, over what they called neglect by Shell.
Shell spokesman, Joseph Ollor Obari, in a press statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday said, “some persons illegally occupied SPDC’s Belema Flow Station.”
He said the facilities were not manned at the time as they had earlier been shut down following security threats, adding that the company had notified the authorities of the incident and were working towards safe resumption of operations.
He said Shell will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of staff and contractor personnel in its operations.
He debunked the allegation of neglect of Kula, Belema communities saying that its commitment to the welfare of host communities in the Niger Delta remains unshaken.
Obari said the company implemented a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in the area that led to a wide variety of social investment projects including university scholarships awards.
It explained that the Rivers State government initiated a mediation process for the resolution of the disagreements in the community, which it said had resulted in the creation of the Kula Project Implementation and Monitoring Committee (PIMC) in 2012.
“The PIMC served as an interim platform for the delivery of social investment initiatives and programmes worth N263 million in the Soku-San Berth Project. These projects are separate from the GMoU projects initiated by communities using funds provided by the SPDC JV,” he added.