Home Business Oil & Gas Proposed sale of Shell’s assets: Oil communities demand rights of first refusal by indigenes

Proposed sale of Shell’s assets: Oil communities demand rights of first refusal by indigenes

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Registered trustees of the Community Development Committees of Oil and Gas Producing Areas of Niger Delta (CDCOGPAND) have demanded for a right of first refusal by indigenous people from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) before selling off its crude oil drilling business and facilities in the Niger Delta region.

In a letter by its lawyer, Emiko and Associates and signed by the chambers’ Principal, Eroro George Emiko and addressed to the Managing Director of SPDC, the group also demanded for financial reparations for the indigenes, occupants and local business owners within the region where the company explored crude oil from.

In the letter, CDCOGPAND insisted that the people who were direct victims of Shell’s operation must be given foremost consideration before it’s exit.

The letter read: “We are Solicitors to Mr. Joseph Ambakaderemo, Mr. Augustine Iyamu and Rev. Diamond Emuobor, registered trustees of the Community Development Committees of Oil and Gas Producing Areas of Niger Delta (CDCOGPAND) hereinafter referred to as our clients.

“It came to our clients’ notice that your company has made arrangements to sell off its crude oil drilling business and facilities onshore, and in shallow waters, but currently awaits the approval of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“We are informed by our Clients that owing to the notoriety of the socio-economic damage occasioned by your exploration and related activities in several Communities and the people of the Niger-Delta where you operate, and their call for you to abate same, the United Nations and the Federal Government of Nigeria mandated you to clean up these communities and compensate the indigenes and occupants thereto.

“We are further informed by our clients that while they await the execution of the above directive, unknown to them, you were negotiating the sale of your drilling business and facilities”.

The law firm noted that since its clients were not privy to the terms of Shell’s proposed sale and were therefore unable to ascertain that the company included the reparation for the various communities damaged by its exploration, especially clean-up of communities ravaged by several oil spills from its facilities and pipelines therein, demanded “immediate clean-up of all communities affected by oil spill from your drilling facilities and pipelines across the Niger-Delta or evidence of the inclusion of the said clean-up as a liability acquired by your proposed successors in your terms of the sale.

“Financial reparation for the indigenes, occupants and local business owners within the Niger Delta areas where you explore crude oil. Right of first refusal by the Niger Delta States, indigenes and indigenous companies of the areas of your operations of the acquisition of your drilling business, facilities, properties and related assets”.

The law firm noted that its clients were not unaware that some of Shell’s prospective buyers were Nigerian owned Companies/Organization, but that the people of the Niger-Delta and the establishments who were the direct victims of its activities must be given foremost consideration.

Emiko and Associates maintained that unless Shell revert to its client’s regarding the demands within 14 days, it has the instruction of the clients to commence legal proceedings in court against the company and/or its prospective buyers to seek to restrain it from perfecting its proposed sale.

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