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PENGASSAN Threatens To Extend Strike …As Total Delcares Action Illegal

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The ongoing strike by Senior Nigerian Employees of French oil firm, Total E & P Nigeria may lead to disruption of the company’s oil production as the Union has threatened to extend its strike to production locations.
Sources informed The Tide that the French oil firm is currently engaged in a “fierce battle” with senior Nigerian employees of the company which is now threatening the company’s crude oil production of over 200,000 barrels per day
Already, the company’s personnel who are members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have forcefully shut down offices in their Port Harcourt headquarters and Lagos annex.
The Tide learnt that the shutdown has affected power supplies to critical areas as well as communication links to operational sites of the oil company.
Although a source at Total said the strike was yet to disrupt oil production, but revealed that if the situation was not urgently resolved, the union was poised to extend the strike to the company’s oil production locations.
It was gathered that the cause of the crisis is the implementation of Total’s group projects in IST and finance divisions of the company, which the union believed would lead to job cuts.
The company however described the union’s strike as “illegal” and noted that the committees constituted were supposed to commence work this week.
A statement signed by the External Relations Manager, Charles Ebereonwu said the firm was ready for negotiation on the global implementation of the Total Group’s projects in IST and Finance Division of the company.
According to him,” Management is disposed and willing to dialogue on the specific areas of concern as raised by the Association.
Ebereonwu reassured that the implementation of these Group projects would not entail job loss to any member of the Association but regretted that PENGASSAN had not only directed the stoppage of work in all office locations of the company, “it has also deliberately blocked all channels of communication with management and as such no progress can be made.
” The action has forced the company into a downgraded situation “with potential loss of value to all stakeholders”, he said.
Total is Nigeria’s fourth biggest oil production company.The French firm is hoping to bring on stream later this year, the giant Egina deep water oil field that will add 200,000 b/d of oil to Nigeria’s production.
Union officials were not immediately available for comment

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Micro-Grids, Solution To Africa’s Power Problems – Expert

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The incorporation of micro-grids into a hybrid system of electrification is the best solution for Africa’s power supply problems, an international energy consultant based in Johannesburg, Anastasia Walsh, has said.
Walsh, who described electrification as an ongoing and foundational investment necessary to realise all modern-day development objectives, urged governments in Africa to explore the use of mini and micro-grids as they strive to provide power.
She said, “Despite bullish policies, the fact remains that over 640 million Africans lack access to electricity. The effect of this is apparent.
“It impedes economic growth, it inhibits the advancements of self-reliant local communities and it threatens national security. African governments are beginning to rethink their electrification plans.
“Grid modernisation, specifically the deployment of micro-grids in rural areas, provides a promising strategy.”
She noted that attempting to replicate the centralised utility models implemented in the United States and Europe had not succeeded in improving energy access across the continent.
Walsh said despite this, it was as if many governments and utilities wrongly maintain the position that the expansion of the traditional grid infrastructure was the solution.
She said, “In areas where communities have access to the central grid, they still have to supplement the intermittency of the power with diesel generators.
“On the flip side, the utilities are financially strained because they are unable to collect revenues from their customers.
“The low rate of revenue collection is due to the unsustainable tariffs the providers impose on customers as a result of the political pressure exerted on them. This results in the utilities being unable to finance upgrades in infrastructure, further exacerbating the issues.”

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Cautious Optimism Greets Oil Discovery In Gongola Basin

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Exciting as the news of the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin may be, stakeholders, yesterday, insisted that the development would only be meaningful after the volumetric of the hydrocarbon is determined.
They equally noted that festering insecurity, environmental issues, dearth of infrastructure and cost of production were major factors that must also be taken into account, just as economically viable farmlands, as well as communities may be affected and relocated.
Exploring the many implications of the development, some industry players noted that the development is also capable of dousing agitations of the Niger Delta region, hoping that it would balance resource locations in the country.
Exciting as the news of the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin may be, stakeholders, yesterday, insisted that the development would only be meaningful after the volumetric of the hydrocarbon is determined.
They equally noted that festering insecurity, environmental issues, dearth of infrastructure and cost of production were major factors that must also be taken into account, just as economically viable farmlands, as well as communities may be affected and relocated.
Exploring the many implications of the development, some industry players noted that the development is also capable of dousing agitations of the Niger Delta region, hoping that it would balance resource locations in the country.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which announced, on Friday, the discovery of crude oil and gas in the Gongola Basin, northern Nigeria, noted that the commercial viability of the discovery coming from the drilling of a total depth of 13, 701ft before hitting oil and gas in several levels is yet to be ascertained.

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PANDEF Applauds OML 25’s Peaceful Resolution

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The Pan Niger Delta Forum(PANDEF) has applauded the peaceful resolution of conflict arising from the Oil Mining Licence (OML) 25 between the multinationals and host communities in Rivers State.
Leader of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, gave the commendation at the official reopening of the flow station by host communities, including, Koko Ama, Offoin Ama, Belema Ama, and Ngeje in Kula Kingdom in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, at the weekend.
Clark, who spoke through a former Nigerian Ambassador, Godknows Igali, stated that the approach could be used to address similar issues in other oil bearing communities within and outside Rivers State.
He pledged his commitment towards working with the Federal Government in ensuring that the OML community engagement model is replicated in other oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta region.
Clerk commended Belema oil, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for their spirit of negotiation and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“He (Clark) asked me to let you know that he would continue to work with you, work with the Federal Government and work with all stakeholders and ensure that this type of synergy is replicated not only in and around Kula OML area, but around the oil producing communities so that there can be peace”, Igali said.
In his address, the spokesman of PANDEF, Mr Anabs Sara-Igbe, thanked the Federal Government for moving the construction of the 85 km Degema-Kula Express Way away from the Ministry of Niger Delta to the Niger Delta Development Commission.
He said, “I thank the Federal Government particularly for moving the 85 km Kula road to Degema from the Ministry Niger Delta Affairs to NDDC, who will work with Belema Oil and SPDC”.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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