After being exposed for stealing over 2million barrels of Bonny light Crude worth over $140million from Nigerian between 2016 and 2018, Dutch Oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, is mobilizing huge war chest to lobby
Nigerian Journalists to stop reporting the scandal, Pointblanknews.com investigations have revealed.
This is coming after the Oil giant failed to stop Justice Oluremi Omowunmi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi who ruled on temporary Mareva injunction in suit no FHC/L/CS/52/202 where AITEO Eastern E & P Company Ltd is the plaintiff/applicants and SPDC Ltd as the first defendant, from hearing the case off camera.
Sources told Pointblanknews.com that since the scandal of Shells stealing of crude oil from Nigeria made headlines, the Dutch Oil Giant have made several efforts to stop the story from going public.
“Yes, they reached out to us, they called my Editor and pleaded we don’tgo to press with the story, as usual, you know such please comes with a promise of patronage in form of advertisement,” a senior journalist with one of the top Newspapers in Nigeria confided in Pointblanknews.com.
According to the Journalist who would not want to be named, “we have had that report for a while but because we were lacking the documents to back it up, we did not go to press with it but once we got the necessary documents and we verified them to be authentic, we decided to reach our to Shell for response.
The source said, “once we reached out to Shell, they started calling our top bosses to kill the report. But you know, this is an economic crime against the Nigerian people and so we a re duty bound to report it no matter the pressure.
The journalist disclosed that while a lot of Newspapers rejected the overture to kill the report, many others went with Shell and did not publish the scandal.
“I am aware some media organizations fell for it. They obliged Shell by not publishing. That is one of the challenges we face today because the media is poorly funded and so anyone can easily be bought to kill stories.
Pointblanknews.com had reported how Shell have been fraudulently altering metering system, stealing about 2million barrels of Bonny Light Crude between 2016-2018.
The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, having discovered crude oil metering discrepancies in Shell operations had in a letter (Ref.: DMR/CTO/COA/COM/V.5/230) dated 14th December 2020 demanded that Shell refunds the over 2 million barrels of crude oil illegally reallocated between June 2016 and July 2018.
The letter referenced: “Reallocation of Bonny Terminal gross Volume from June 2016 to July 2018 Based on Comparison of Metered Gross Between the Coriolis Meter and LACT Unit Installed on the NCTL.”
Coriolis flow meter and the Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) Unit are both measuring systems used to meter crude oil but they have often been manipulated by some oil companies to short-change the crude production ecosystem.
Shell confirmed the illegality and discrepancy in metering and in a letter dated 8th February 2021 agreed to comply with the DPR directive to refund the stolen crude. The Shell letter addressed to the Director, DPR and referenced SPDC-COM-2021-00951 reads in part:
“We note your directives as contained in the above-referenced letter and wish to confirm that the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) will implement the refund of the 2,081,678 barrels of crude oil from the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) injectors (SPDC, TEPNG, NDPR, and WSPOL) to the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) injectors (Aiteo, Belemaoil, Eroton and Newcross) over the period from end of January 2021 till November 2021 in accordance with Schedile 111 as contained in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) letter ref: DMR/CTO/COA/COM/V.5/230 dated 14th December 2020.” The Shell letter was signed by Steve Okwuosah, Business Relations & JVC Excellence Manager.
It was learnt that both DPR and Shell had been going back and forth on the matter with Shell recommending further dialogue and engagement. This was said to have angered the management of DPR which, driven by patriotism, had insisted on nothing but refund by Shell, prompting the initial terms of further engagement recommended by Shell to be rejected
In a DPR letter dated 28th January 2021, a response to Shell letter of January 14th, the DPR stated: ”Please be informed that we are unable to accept your request for further engagement on the matter due to your failure to implement the refund of 2,081,678 barrels of oil from TNP injectors to NCTL injectors as directed by the Department.
“As you are aware, the refund volume is a function of production reallocation (for June 2016 to May 2017) in order to effect correction for the initial water allocation to NCTL injectors with Coriolis meter (by SPDC) which was rejected by DPR vide our letter Ref: DMR/CTO/COA/COM/V.3/102 and dated 9th February 2018 because it was contrary to statutory requirements.
“Accordingly, you are directed to note the following:
- Ensure total compliance with the directives communicated to you via our letter, Ref: DMR/CTO/COA/COM/V.5/230 dated 14th December 2020.
- Your December 2020 Schedule 1B for Bonny Terminal Network and the resultant stock certificates issued to the affected companies are unacceptable. You are to therefore, with immediate effect, adjust the schedule 1B and re-issue the stock certificates to the relevant TNP and NCTL injectors, to reflect the production adjustments for the months.”