Oil exploration at an oilfield operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) was disrupted by some residents of Opukushi, Ekeremor local government area, Bayelsa, SPDC claimed.
The spokesperson for the oil firm, Bamidele Odugbesan, said some residents invaded the oilfield in the early hours of Monday and forcibly shut down activities.
“A large number of men and women invaded a contractor-owned and operated rig working for the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited Joint Venture in Opukushi in Ekeremor local government area of Bayelsa state in the early hours of Monday,” he said.
Mr Odugbesan, however, noted that personnel of its contractors were unharmed during the invasion and shutdown of the oil rig.
“The invaders forcibly shut down the facility and occupied the safe muster area. Nobody was hurt in the process and the incident was promptly reported to government authorities,” the SPDC spokesman stated.
However, the chairman of Opukushi Community Development Committee, Preye Simon, told journalists that the people took the action to draw attention to their plight.
He claimed that rather than engaging people in the ongoing activities at the field, SPDC and its servicing contractors neglected their social obligations to the community.
According to him, the exclusion of the people from the drilling contracts was in violation of the Community Content Guidelines.