ONITSHA, NOVEMBER 9, 2016 – Royal Dutch Shell is checking a claim by a group of Nigerian protesters that they had shut down an Escravos crude oil facility in the Niger Delta operated by its joint-venture partner SPDC.
Shyne Edema, a youth leader in the restive region, said earlier his group was protesting at the facility, shutting down power and water supplies as well as crude production to press Shell into providing community development funds.
“Today is the eighth day of the protest,” he said. “We have laid siege at the facility from dusk to dawn since then. We are there now as I speak.”
It was unclear which facilities he meant. Shell has several flow stations linked to oil and gas pipelines in the Warri area.
Edema said the protesters wanted development funds to build roads and improve water and electricity supplies for their communities.
Demanding a greater share of oil revenues in the Niger Delta region, militants have made a number of attacks on crude and gas pipelines this year.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari met last week with community leaders and representatives of militants to end the attacks and address complaints of poverty from residents but no lasting ceasefire has been reached.
An attack last week forced the closure of the Trans Forcados Pipeline, cutting the OPEC member’s oil production by at least 200,000 barrels per day.
But any ceasefire agreement would be difficult to enforce as the militants are splintered into small groups of angry, young unemployed men whom even their leaders struggle to control.