Global Processing

Nigerian links oil field peace, firms'' social work

May 12, 2008
According to Reuters, a Nigerian official said recently that oil field security in his country would improve if oil companies boosted their community development efforts.

Emmanuel Egbogah told reporters that they need to do more after a panel discussion at the Offshore Technology Conference of industry challenges around the world.

Egbogah, special petroleum adviser to Nigerian President Umaru Yar''Adua, said the government was doing its part.

The interview followed an exchange between Egbogah and fellow panel member Patrick Pouyanne of Total SA, who expressed concern about the level of security in Nigeria.

Nigerian oil production has been plagued by attacks on pipelines and other infrastructure by militants who complain that local communities are not benefiting enough from oil.

When Pouyanne, Total''s senior vice president of exploration and production, questioned Nigerian security, Egbogah jumped in to suggest firms spend more to improve nearby communities.

Members of the panel agreed that one of the challenges faced by oil companies is fulfilling social responsibilities in underdeveloped oil-producing countries.

Egbogah said the government of Nigeria was working hard to keep the peace and has had some success.

Production has recovered substantially since the worst interruptions, he said.

With the lifting this week of a force majeure on production by Exxon Mobil, Nigerian output has risen from less than 1.5 million barrels per day to 2 million or 2.2 million, he said.