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Total Plc, others say security major obstacle to operations

International oil companies operating in Nigeria say security, the safety of staff and assets are some major challenges affecting their operations in the country.

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The companies said this at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja on Wednesday.

They spoke during a high-level panel of Industry Leaders with the topic: “Maintaining Nigeria’s Position as the Oil and Gas Investment Destination of Choice’’.

Mr Patrick Olinma, the Executive Director, Total Plc said that the management was concerned about the safety of its staff as well as the company’s assets.

According to him, assurance of safety and security will go a long way in boosting production in the sector.

He called for collaboration of all stakeholders to help boost security in operational areas and in the country at large.

Also read:NNPC cautions against disruption in fuel supply

Mr Osagie Okunbor, the Country Chairman and Managing Director, Shell Companies in Nigeria also noted that safety in the area of deep water project was also a challenge.

According to him, the security of vessels in the country is not guaranteed as that can hinder the future of deepwater projects in the country.

“The future of the deepwater projects worries me and the most concern is that Nigeria is not fast in taking a decision and because of this, capitals are going to other countries,’’ he said.

Mr Bello Rabiu, Chief Operating Officer Upstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) also corroborated what Olinma and Okunbor said.

“Just last week, we had a problem in Warri, kidnapping, vandalism, all these things have a negative impact on production, we need to work collectively to find a lasting solution to all these problems.

“No business can operate under unfavourable environment, we need protection to ensure safety to help boost production,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Jeff Ewing, Chairman and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Ltd., said that security and safety should be taken seriously to ensure growth in the sector.

“The protection of people working is very critical. There is the need to put up bright policies in place to boost the security,’’ Ewing said.

This, according to him, will help drive the desired growth and development in the industry.

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