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Shell is in Nigeria to stay – MD

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Shell is in Nigeria to stay – MD

By Our Reporter – 10.08.2008

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has said it was in Nigeria to stay. This was stated by SPDC’s Managing Director, Mutiu Sunmonu, during an exclusive interview with Sunday Tribune.

“I can say categorically that our efforts, in partnership with the Federal Government, are fully on course. SDPC continues to support Nigeria’s economic development through sustained investments in oil and gas, power generation as well as contributions to the socio-economic development of the country”

Sunmonu, who was appointed SPDC‘s second ever Nigerian Managing Director last year, pointed out that Shell not only pioneered oil production and export in Nigeria some fifty years ago, but has continued to play a leading role in support of Government’s development aspirations and remains committed in that direction.

“Nigeria continues to be important for Shell and there are developments and substantial investments continuing in virtually all areas of our business, inspite of the difficulties posed by issues like security, funding and infrastructure.”

Responding to a question, Sunmonu said that among the most important contributions SPDC makes to Nigeria, is helping to generate revenues the Government needs to adequately invest in oil and gas as well as other areas of the Nigerian economy.

“Those contributions come in the form of taxes and royalties SPDC and other upstream companies pay. More than $25 billion has been contributed as oil and gas revenues by the SPDC Joint Venture to government over the last three years alone.”

According to Sunmonu, SPDC continues to explore ways of utilizing the gas flared in its operations as a means of reducing environmental impact and promoting gas commercialization. Although recent production losses contribute to the picture, targeted efforts the MD said, have led to the reduction of Shell’s total flaring by more than 50 percent between 2002 and 2007.

”We have achieved that in an operations covering some 90 oil fields spread across a tremendous expanse of about 30,000 square kilometers. 

“We are doing everything possible to minimize spills in the face of widespread cases of sabotage and limited funding. It is well known that more than two thirds of oil spills which occurred last year, were due to sabotage. We are committed to cleaning up these spills, irrespective of the cause, but are also severely limited by the security situation and access in some cases.

Irrespective of these hindrances, there is a lot going on by way of progress. SPDC pioneered gas production in Nigeria in the 1960s and currently contributes over 50 percent of the gas used in power generation in the country. 

What that means in real terms, is that wherever you find electricity in Nigeria today, SPDC provided more than half of it. Joint Venture investments of around three billion dollars to date, have made that possible and we strongly believe that is a good testimony to our commitment to Nigeria, although we recognize that there is still some way to go in the gas journey,” he said.

Closely associated with those achievements Sunmonu said, are SPDC projects like the Gbaran Ubie Integrated Oil and Gas Project and AFAM, both currently under construction in the Niger Delta.

http://www.tribune.com.ng/10082008/news/news3.html

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