Friday, August 26, 2005


I am publishing more recent reports on the critical situation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria where 40% of the oil and gas supplies for America comes from. But, the US Government has been ignoring the emergency in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. And I will keep on reminding the whole world of the emergency untill I see the positive responses from the United Nations, the United States of America and Europe, because they are the largest beneficiaries of the resources in the Niger Delta and I sincerely appeal to you all to address this emergency, because when the crisis shall erupt, the gas suppy to the US will be drastically reduced and you will pay more than you have ever paid for gas since the war in Iraq started. A word is enough for the wise. But, I will not stop reporting the news from Nigeria to the rest of the world, whether good or bad.

PIPE DREAMS: Conflicts, Participation, Transparency.
July 29, 2005

Second installation of the WAGP series:
Oil and Gas Conflicts in the Western Delta Gas for the West African Gas Pipeline will be sourced from the Escravos area in the Western Niger Delta. It must be noted that this is a grossly neglected and environmentally degraded area of the Niger Delta.

It is an area noted for violent state repression and conflicts arising from competition for control of land and resources between the Nigerian government, oil and gas companies and the communities. The proponents of WAGP have clearly kept a blind eye to the concerns of the communities in these gas fields. Without an attempt to resolve these issues, there is the grave danger that WAGP will exacerbate the crisis in the area, which will lead to further disruptions in gas supply, while worsening the insecurity and impoverishment in the area. The foundation is being laid for the continuation and exportation of conflict from the Niger Delta to local communities that would be negatively affected by the WAGP project in Lagos and Ogun states ,Southwest Nigeria. This is already being encouraged by the failure of the government and WAPco to consult with community people, respond to their concerns and pay adequate compensation for lands acquired from families and communities in these areas.

Gas flaring is a major issue locally and internationally. The oil corporations operating in the Niger Delta have continued to toe the cheap option of dealing with associated gas through gas flaring.

The WAGP has been falsely promoted as a gas flare reduction project even though its sponsors have not demonstrated commitment to addressing the problem in Nigeria. In May 2005, Shell which is a project sponsor unilaterally announced that it would not be meeting its commitment to eliminate routine flaring of associated gas from its oil fields in 2008. Neither has Chevron given adequate guarantees that the WAGP would contribute to gas flare reduction by ensuring that only associated gas from its Escravos oil fields would be supplied to the pipeline.

Chevron and the World Bank have been presenting the WAGP to the world as a clean energy project which should qualify for credit under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The request for CDM credit is predicated on the claim that the pipeline project would contribute to the reduction of gas flaring in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. However, Chevron, the World Bank and the Nigerian government have failed to show and demonstrate how the flaring of associated gas (which is the gas being flared in the Niger Delta) will be reduced as a result of WAGP. We state our objection to the move by sponsors of the WAGP including the World Bank and the Nigerian government to sell this lie. In as much as the pipeline project will be utilizing gas from new gas fields and would not significantly impact on the volume of gas being flared in the region it is unethical to claim that this is a CDM project and to reap carbon credits and make profits based on questionable assumptions.It should be noted that Chevron was part of the Global Climate Coalition, an oil industry lobby group which fiercely opposed the Kyoto Protocol. Now, they want to benefit - because it is profitable! We demand a commitment that 100 per cent associated (currently flared) gas be used for the WAGP until associated gas from existing and future fields is exhausted. Moreover, WAGP sponsors and other major transnational oil companies operating in Nigeria should be compelled by law to provide a written commitment and concrete plan to end all associated gas flaring by 2008, both for operations associated with WAGP and other oil developments in the country. In addition, Nigerian national legislation should ensure that all new oil development in the country be accompanies by gas gathering infrastructure, and utilisation programs for power generation within Nigeria.Need for TransparencyAs a condition for commencement of the pipelines operation, project sponsors and the Nigerian government should disclose to the Nigerian people:
1.The WAGP Treaty and Annexed International Project Agreement,
2.All gas purchase or off-take agreements between WAPCO and the consumers / governments of Ghana, Togo and the Republic of Benin,
3.The contract between Ghana and Nigeria for the latter to provide a loan to the former for its equity stake in the pipeline, and
4.The economic and financial assessments of WAGP.
Oil pollution and environmental degradation are major issues in Nigeria's oil industry - and were the subject of a forum held this weekend by the National Assembly.

Oil pollution and environmental degradation are major issues in Nigeria's oil industry - and were the subject of a forum held this weekend by the National Assembly.

The goal was to find long-term solutions to the problem. Local communities in the oil-rich Niger Delta region have consistently accused the government and oil companies of colluding to plunder their oil resources and impoverishing them through unmitigated pollution and environmental degradation. The two-day session closely examined the nature of oil pollution and environmental degradation in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

Gamaliel Onosode is a leading financial and public affairs analyst who's also known for his extensive research on environmental problems in the Niger Delta. He listed the problems caused by the crisis. "The problem is serious in more than one way. First, pollution has affected the ecosystem generally. You can see the forest and mangrove swamps, those areas have been wiped out. Two, it has affected water quality. My home is a good example. You sink a bore-hole and you readily see evidence of seepage into the water supply. Thirdly, it has affected air quality."


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