Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has said that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) would soon resume oil exploration and other operations in the state.
The governor disclosed this yesterday in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser, Oguike Nwachukwu. The Dutch oil giant had suspended operations in the state following increasing insecurity in Ohaji/Egbema local council, which started even before Uzodimma assumed power in 2020.
Also, the company had last year put on hold the construction of the multi-billion naira Assa North and South gas development project sited in Egbema/Ohaji capable of producing 300 cubic daily following the killing of some workers.
According to the statement, Uzodimma held a meeting in Abuja with the Chairman and Managing Director of the SPDC, Mr. Osagie Okunbor and some top officials of the firm.
The multi-national oil company with presence in 74 countries, he explained, has agreed on the strategies to safeguard its operations, which would bring far-reaching socio-economic benefits to the state.
According to the governor, the step was one out of the several steps to bring back companies that closed shop in the state, either following debt overhang, liquidation, insecurity and others.
His words: “One of the observations of my administration upon resumption of office was the fact that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) had been off-site and suspended operations in Imo State as a result of insecurity, vandalism and illegal oil bunkering within the region.
“Having restored peace and tranquility along the coastline, today, I met yet again with the Managing Director and Chairman of the oil giant, Osagie Okunbor and I am elated at his assurance and confirmation of the company’s resolve to resume exploration in the state.
“This development is expected to create a ripple effect and economic boost for the growth of local contents within the region and the state at large while contributing to more developmental projects from the government.
“On behalf of the government and good people of Imo State, I express my profound gratitude to the management and staff of SPDC. Rest assured, that the state government is committed to any partnership that would bring about the development of the state.”