The Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has dismissed claim that it awarded surveillance contract to one of the ex militant leaders in Bayelsa State to secure its pipeline and other facilities in the Diebu Creek in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
Surveillance contractors, Sweet Crude learnt, act as look-outs, alerting law enforcement security agencies and SPDC of attempts to sabotage the company facilities in their areas and such do not carry arms and do not investigate incidents of sabotage.
The company’s denial is coming against the backdrop of report in some national dailies the oil major had engaged the services of former militant warlord, General Eris Paul a.k.a Ogunboss, to guard its facilities in the predominantly riverine Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
Ogunboss was a right hand man of Ateke Tom, leader of Niger-Delta Vigilante Force and was also active in the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) where he assisted to coordinate some daring attacks on the nation’s oil and gas industry in the region.
SPDC spokesman, Precious Okolobo in a statement said no such contract was awarded to Eristex Pipeline Patrol owned by the former militant leader to secure its facilities in the creek of Southern Ijaw as claimed in some quarters.
His words, â€œSPDC did not award a contract to Eristex Pipeline Patrol to secure its pipelines in Southern Ijaw area in Bayelsa State, as alleged recently in some news reports. â€œHowever, in continuation of its collaboration with communities in the Niger-Delta on security of SPDC facilities, the company awarded a surveillance contract to Fanus Koki & Sons Ltd covering Diebu Creek Field in Southern Ijaw area of Bayelsa State.
SPDC will continue to work with people in the Niger-Delta to safeguard the company’s oil and gas facilities located within their communities.â€
The company’s operation was practically paralyzed in Bayelsa State in the wake of youth insurgency in the creeks of the state about two years causing the state share of revenue from the federation to nosedive to an all time low percentage.