by: Mike Odiegwu Members of the Egbebiri communities in Biseni clan, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, have seized the Idu oil field belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
It was learnt that the field is made up of about five oil wells numbered as 3, 6, 8, 11 and 12.
The Egbebiri communities were said to have shut the oil wells over the failure of Agip to satisfy some of their demands.
“Five oil wells operated by Agip in the company’s Idu field in Biseni have been shut down by community folks. Wellheads 3, 6, 8, 11 and 12 have been shut since Sunday night,” a source who pleaded for anonymity said.
The communities reportedly took the decision after their entreaties to the company fell on deaf ears.
They were said to have written letters to the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Pulo Shield and the Department of State Security (DSS) to inform them about their disagreement with Agip.
One of the community leaders, who identified himself as Solomon, confirmed that the communities shut down the wellheads because of the company’s inability to meet their demands.
“We shut down the wellheads because they refused to meet our demands,” he said.
Solomon said they asked Agip to solve lack of electricity in their communities by giving them a generator.
“The generator they gave us since 2003 has spoilt. Our community has been thrown into darkness since then,” he added.
According to him, they also wanted Agip to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them and to change the name of the oil wells to their community’s name.
Said he: “We have been talking to them about this, but they have done nothing. They should call for real meetings with the manager of Agip.
“Our wellheads are numbered in Idu name. They should change it to our community’s name.
“They are paying for only four wellheads instead of six. We won’t release the wellheads until they call us to a meeting and resolve the issue.”