The Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has commended the joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, for curbing restiveness and providing a peaceful atmosphere for uninterrupted oil production.
Mr Marco Rondo, NAOC’s outgoing General Manager, Port Harcourt District, gave the commendation on Saturday in Yenagoa, during a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the joint force, christened Operation Delta Safe.
Rondo said that the operations of the joint force against militancy and oil theft, had stabilised the operations of the oil firm and reduced incidents of oil theft across its operations in Rivers and Bayelsa.
He noted that security was critical to the operations of the oil firm which produces 80 per cent of its oil export from Nigeria.
Newsmen recall that NAOC had on March 22,2013 shut its activities at oil fields in Bayelsa, from which it produced about 40, 000 barrels of crude oil daily, over high incidence of oil theft.
NAOC had stated that it was losing about 7,000 barrels of its crude production daily to oil thieves in Bayelsa, a development the firm described as unsustainable, necessitating the shut down.
Rondo who said that the rate of oil theft had dropped drastically within the past two years, appealed to the Commander of Operation Delta Safe to extend the support to the incoming General Manager, Mr Tiatti Alissandra.
Responding, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, Commander of the joint force, noted that it was gratifying to note that the operations of the military was adding value to oil and gas operations, by leading to a boost in oil output.
He said that several oil firms operating in Niger Delta had expressed satisfaction with the improved security in the region in the recent past during interactions with the command.
“We are glad that our modest efforts are being appreciated by oil industry operators and we remain committed to our duty, we are here because of the mandate of the Federal Government.
“We have no choice than to do what we are doing because that is our job, we are committed to service to our fatherland,” Apochi said.
Also in the Agip delegation were Mr Dennis Masi, Public Affairs Manager, Mr Stanley Umokoro, the Security Manager, while Unit Commanders in Operation Delta Safe witnessed the ceremony.