Tour of IOC Operations in Delta North: Senator Ned Nwoko Storms Pan Ocean Oil

Tour of IOC Operations in Delta North: Senator Ned Nwoko Storms Pan Ocean Oil
June 01 21:48 2024 Print This Article

Senator Ned Munir Nwoko, representing the Delta North senatorial district, has initiated a familiarisation tour of International Oil Companies (IOCs) facilities in Delta North. The tour aims to ensure these companies operate safely, comply with Nigerian laws, and fulfill their responsibilities to host communities.

On Friday, May 31, Senator Nwoko began his tour with a visit to Pan Ocean Oil Corporation’s OML147 Flow Station in Owa-Alidinma, Ika North-East Local Government Area.

Emomotimi Oru, the Operations Superintendent, guided the tour and explained that OML-147 is an oil and gas production facility capable of producing 20,000 barrels of crude oil and 70 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of gas daily. “The crude oil is processed and stored in tanks before being exported to Ovade, from where it is shipped to the Forcados terminal. The gas is compressed and sent to the gas processing facility at Ovade-Oghara through pipelines”, he added.

Senator Ned Nwoko inquired about the company’s handling of the water obtained after the separation process. He specifically asked how they manage it to prevent spills and avoid environmental and health hazards, given its high acidity, and how they control access to this water to ensure it isn’t misused.

Mr. Oru responded that the company treats the water to 15 parts per million (ppm) and stores it in a 6,000-barrel tank. He added that there are plans to treat the water further to 0.5 ppm, making it usable.

The company’s assertions of harmonious relations with the host community and the employment of community members were, however, disputed by the Host Communities’ chairman, Obiaha Amechi.

Expressing his frustration to the Senator, Amechi stated, “In terms of CSR, Pan Ocean has failed. This is beyond our control because the people we hope to take up such matters push them off. No previous representative from the House of Reps or the Senate has ever come, as you have, to address these issues or taken these matters beyond the Senate floor as you have done. The only positions Pan Ocean has offered our people are security roles at the gate. There are no senior staff from the community, no empowerment, no environmental impact assessment, and no trust fund as stipulated in the Petroleum Industry Act. They claim they pay royalties to DESOPADEC and NNPC, and we should go there to collect what belongs to us.”

Senator Nwoko assured that he would address these issues with DESOPADEC and NNPC. He emphasized the need for a balance where the oil company can operate profitably while fulfilling its responsibilities to the host communities. He directed the community members to document their needs and demands in a petition, which he would pursue.

“This is just the beginning of a process,” Senator Nwoko stated.

The discussion also revolved around the establishment of a modular refinery with a capacity of at least 5 thousand barrels at the Owa-Alidunma location. Both parties acknowledged that this initiative would enhance employment opportunities and spur economic growth within the host communities and surrounding areas.

During the visit, the Senator toured various facility sections, including the Inlet (arrival) Manifold section, Separation sections, and Compression section.

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