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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05LAGOS171
2005-02-07 11:11:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Lagos
Cable title:  

COMMUNITY STORMS CHEVRON ESCRAVOS FACILITY

Tags:   EPET  EINV  CASC  PGOV  ASEC  MOPS  NI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000171 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W
STATE FOR CA/OCS/FROBINSON
STATE FOR EB/ESC/IEC/ENR/BLEVINE
STATE FOR DS/IP/AF
STAT FOR INR/AA
STATE PASS DOE FOR DAS JBRODMAN AND CGAY
STATE PASS TREASURY FOR ASEVERENS AND SRENENDER
STATE PASS DOC FOR PHUPER
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION FOR MARAD
STATE PASS OPIC FOR CDUFFY
STATE PASS TDA FOR BTERNET
STATE PASS EXIM FOR JRICHTER
STATE PASS USTR FOR ASST USTR SLISER
STATE PASS USAID FOR GWEYNAND AND SLAWAETZ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2009
TAGS: EPET EINV CASC PGOV ASEC MOPS NI
SUBJECT: COMMUNITY STORMS CHEVRON ESCRAVOS FACILITY

REF: ABUJA 167

Classified By: Classified By: Acting Consul General Ronald Kramer for R
easons 1.4 (D & E)

Summary
-------



1. (C) Chevron Texaco (CT) confirmed the storming and
occupation of its Escravos facility by Itsekiri villagers
from the Okurogo community, for several hours on 4 February.
GON security forces re-gained control of the facility by late
in the day. No AMCITs or third country nationals were
injured or killed in the incident. Post's security contacts
stated one community member was killed by friendly fire, and
that between one and thirteen were wounded. Press is
reporting up to four deaths. Both local CT local guards and
GON security forces were injured in the attack. However, CT
is not officially confirming any reports of the number of
dead or injured. Production was not impacted.

CT Facility Stormed; Deaths Possible but Unconfirmed


--------------------------



--------------------------





2. (C) For the third time in as many years, Chevron Texaco
confirmed the storming of its Escravos facility at
approximately 0500 hours on 4 February. Government and
Public Affairs General Manager Director Odumabo noted that
approximately 500 Itsekiri villagers from Okurogo, CT's host
community, cut the perimeter fence at the Escravos facility
in multiple locations and entered the compound. (Note: CT
contacts have given varying reports, between five and eight,
as to the number of locations in which the fence was cut.
Regardless, the large number of breaches would appear to
indicate a well-organized attack.) They occupied the
compound for several hours, but GON security forces re-gained
control of the facility by late in the day. No AMCITs or
third country nationals were injured or killed in the
incident. CT security contacts stated to RSO that one
community member was killed by friendly fire, and that
between one and thirteen were wounded. However, CT
management is not officially confirming any reports of the
number of dead or injured. Security contacts also indicated
that CT security had been aware of an increased threat, and
accordingly had reinforced security.

Local Guards and GON Security Forces Injured


--------------------------





3. (C) Chevron Texaco Health Safety and Environment Manager
Cheryl Robnett reported that during the invasion, community
members attacked both local guards and GON security force
members. A Nigerian guard employed by CT and one member of
the GON security forces were injured and unable to continue
to carry out their duties. Several other local guards and
security force members required first aid care. (Note: In
line with Nigerian law, guards employed by CT are unarmed;
GON security forces provided by the GON (but paid by CT) to
protect the Escravos facility typically carry AK-47s. CT
does not have an agreement with the GON on specific rules of
engagement for troops operating within their facilities.
Instead, the troops operate according to rules laid out by
the GON. End note.)

Situation Remains Tense; Security High


--------------------------





4. (C) Odumabo told energyoff that CT remains extremely
watchful. Security contacts indicated that navy gunboats are
patrolling the river around the facility, and the GON is
organizing additional forces to be brought in from Warri.
Several CT contacts reported the situation remained tense, as
community members continue to circulate freely immediately
outside the Escravos perimeter. At least several dozen
villagers continue living within about 100 feet of the
facility. (Note: To take advantage of potential business
transactions with CT employees, villagers maintain a
shantytown with numerous dwellings, stores, and bars almost
immediately adjacent to the Escravos perimeter fence. CT has
been unsuccessful at persuading the community to move these
buildings. End note.)

CT Was Re-Negotiating MOU


--------------------------





5. (C) Robnett noted that CT was in the process of
re-negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the
Okurogo community when the invasion occurred.

Comment


--------------------------





6. (C) CT continues to experience significant difficulties
in its community relations in the Delta region. At the same
time the Escravos invasion was occurring, Chevron was
attempting to quell a disturbance at its facilities in Onne
in Rivers State and seeking to extricate itself from its MOU
in Warri. (Note: Production in Warri, representing a third
of CT's capacity, has been shut down for over one year, but
the MOU with the community is still in effect. End Note.)
Nevertheless, CT believes it can continue to operate in the
Delta region for some time. Septel will report further on
CT's overall assessment of the Delta environment. End
Comment.
KRAMER