HAPPENING NOW!!! Tension As FG Revokes N44.6 Billion Oil Block Licences From Niger Deltans, Retains That Of Northerner Cabals

By Post Nigeria May 31, 2017 09:45

HAPPENING NOW!!! Tension As FG Revokes N44.6 Billion Oil Block Licences From Niger Deltans, Retains That Of Northerner Cabals

The final withdrawal of oil prospecting licences issued in 2001, 2002, and 2003, for the Utapate Field, 01, 03 and 05, in Delta State, believed to have been won by some indigenous oil firms in the Niger Delta, has started generating some controversy, capable of threatening the relative peace in the oil producing region.

However, Sonny Whisky, the Leader of Niger Delta Business Professionals, NDBP, said his group had been holding irritant youth, from breaching the relative peace in the oil producing region over the matter.

“But there is a limit to human deprivation of right of ownership, as government has not given us a convincing reason to cancel oil contract to our people”, Whisky said on Tuesday.

It was learnt that the revocation order, was based on the insistence by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, that due process was not followed before the award of the oil blocks to three firms, in addition to alleged failure of the companies to go by the terms of the agreement.

Further inquiries revealed that it was only Hi Rev Exploration and Production Limited that had made part payment, and was in the process of completing the transaction with the DPR, before the revocation order.

The other two: Jahcon International Limited, and Oil and Industrial Services Limited, were said to have completed payments by 2004, prior to commencement of exploration in 2012.

However, the letters, issued to the investors on June 16, 2015, copies of which were made available to Journalists in Abuja, on Monday, have the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, confirming the three investors as successful bidders for the blocks.

It had directed them to make the required payments as signature bonuses for the licences, and to commence operation thereafter.

According to the investors, about N44.6 billion signature bonuses paid for the licences is also under threat, following the approval of the President to withdraw the OPLs from the winners, who emerged after the Federal Government opened up the oil blocks to bidders in the 2007 bid rounds.

After winning the bids for the blocks, the bid round was stalled for eight years by litigation, until it was resolved amicably in 2015.

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Nonetheless, it has not been made clear why Buhari approved a request by the NNPC, demanding the withdrawal of the oil licence blocks.

In the NNPC’s letter of request to Buhari, which was dated December 20, 2016, its boss, Maikanti Baru, acknowledged that OPLs 2001, 2002, and 2003, in Oil Mining Lease 13, which were recovered from Shell by the administration of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, were “inadvertently revoked”.

However, Whisky argued that the Corporation’s letter, which insisted that the OPLs belonged to one of its subsidiaries, did not disclose that it also submitted a bid for one of the blocks in the 2007 open licensing round, but lost as a result of low bid.

“We have it on good authority that the said blocks have been given to Shell, contrary to NNPC’s claim to the contrary, for the NNPC management has been pushing to have its subsidy, the NPDC, which is Shell’s major partner in the field when the blocks were being operated by Shell”, Whisky alleged.

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