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Residents of the Bayelsa region in Nigeria disrupted oil production at a field operated by Shell on Wednesday, shutting down two oil wells, a report by the Sahara Reporters said.
Protestors shut down Adibawa wells 4 and 10, which feed into a flow station of the same name. Hundreds of demonstrators, comprising youths, elderly people, and women gathered to sing in solidarity and to demand power supply to their homes from the oil facility nearby.
"We took the step as a last resort following several talks, the oil firm had given us hope but they later backed out by telling us that the transmission line to our community is not strong enough cannot carry the power,” youth leader Oyeso Atena said. "We have several oil wells here and merely shutting two of them have put the entire Adibawa flow station out of action, and that shows that without the oil wells from here, the flow station cannot fire and we are just asking that they give us electricity from that facility."
The oilfield in question has been safe from the flurry of attacks on oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta, which began in 2017. Nigeria had shut nearly half of its oil production by the end of last year due to the strength of the anti-Abuja campaign in major oil-producing areas.
"We are not asking for too much from a company that has operated here since 1972 and there is no history of hostage taking, no attack on oil workers, and no incident of vandalism of facilities,” he said. "Our expectation is that they reciprocate our peaceful dispositions and not take our peaceful nature for weakness, we have vowed to remain here until they respond to us.”
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…