At a time Nigeria is scrambling to ramp up its oil and gas production in a bid to boost earnings, a protest has rocked one of the country’s largest export terminals.
Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and CNL, confirmed on Thursday that a protest broke out at its operation base on Tuesday.
The incident started at about 7am that day with boats conveying some protesters patrolling along CNL’s Terminal and Escravos Gas-To-Liquids (EGTL) jetties and subsequently blocked access to Escravos Terminal (including EGTL jetty) in the company’s Western area of operations, according to a statement signed by Esimaje Brikinn, its general manager, policy, government and public affairs.
“The protesters are demanding for the renaming of the Warri Kingdom Onshore Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) and involvement in the nomination of additional persons for inclusion on the Board of Trustees of the HCDT,” it said. “In addition, they are requesting for mobilisation of their community workers for the EGTL Turn Around Maintenance activities,” the release stated.
The Escravos Terminal is a crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) export facility. Chevron is involved in natural gas projects in the western Niger Delta and Escravos areas, including the Escravos Gas Plant (EGP), the EGTL facility and the Sonam Field Development Project.
CNL operates the EGP, which has a total capacity of 680 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and LPG and a condensate export capacity of 58,000 barrels per day. Chevron and the NNPC operate the EGTL facility, a 33,000-barrel-per-day gas-to-liquids plant.
The protest could spell doom for a country that is finding it difficult to meet the quota given to it by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
OPEC+, a group for OPEC and its allies, had reduced Nigeria’s quota from 1.742 million barrels per day (mbpd) to about 1.38 mbpd in early June due to low production.
Oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and frequent shut-ins have continued to crimp Nigeria’s output for years.
The country’s crude oil production fell last month after two consecutive months of increase, putting a damper on the government’s drive to prop up foreign exchange earnings and stabilise the naira.
Crude oil production (including condensates) declined to 1.56 mbpd in October, indicating a 0.65 percent drop from the preceding month, according to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has revealed.