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OML 11 controversy: Court orders FG to renew Shell licence



The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, ordered the Federal Government to renew the operating licence of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who delivered the judgment, said that though the company had applied for a term of 30-year period for the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11, he could only grant a 20-year period in accordance with the Petroleum Act.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, who is also President Muhammadu Buhari, is the 1st defendant while the 2nd defendant is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.

SDPC had sought to compel the two ministers to renew OML 11, in addition to 14 other oil mining leases approved for it in June 30.

President Buhari had ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to take over the operatorship of the entire OML 11 from SPDC.

NAN reports that the FG had, on Aug. 15, told the court that its decision not to renew the operating license of the company was in the interest of the nation’s security.

Counsel to FG, Mohammed Diri, while objecting to the SPDC’s suit, said that the primary objective of any responsible government was to guaranty the safety of lives and property.

He said that the refusal to renew OML 11 was a pre-emptive measures to prevent the occurrence or escalation of security breach in Ogoni area.

He argued that the OML 11 covered an area of 3,095.25 square kilometers that stretched between Rivers and Imo with 14 oilfields , 10 out of which are located in Ogoni area of Rivers.

He said that besides the security challenges, SPDC tried to compel the government to commit an illegality because an approval by the Minister of State for Petroleum of “a single oil block size of 3, 095.25 is tantamount to facilitating illegality in contravention of the (Drilling and Production ) Regulation which limits the size of OML block to 1.295 square kilometers.(500 miles).”

The lawyer therefore urged the judge to hold that SPDC suit was destitute of merit and suffered incurable legal deficiency and should be dismissed.

However, the judge adjourned till Aug. 23 to enable the government respond to issues of facts raised by the plaintiff in its further and better affidavit.

Diri had told the court that he had not seen the further affidavit and reply which SPDC Counsel, Funke Adekoya, SAN, told the court was served on the respondents.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Taiwo said he had gone through all the processes before him.

He said it was the duty of the court to ensure that it was bounded by the law.

Justice Taiwo noted that the provision of the law makes it mandatory for the Minister of Petroleum to grant a renewal of license if an applicant met all the conditions.

“My understanding of paragraph 13 (1) of the first schedule to the Petroleum Act states that it is mandatory for the minister to grant a renewal if all the conditions have been met,” he said.

The judge held that there was no evidence before him to prove that the plaintiff had not met with the conditions stated in the provision.

On the number of years sought for by the plaintiff, he said he could not go outside the provision of the law.

According to him, Paragraph 10 of the first schedule of the Petroleum Act is very clear.

“I see no conflict in these two paragraphs. I am of the view that what these paragraphs say is that a term of mining lease shall not exceed 20 years.

“This to me, is mandatory,” he said.

He also said that the” Drilling and Production Regulation cannot be upgraded to the position of the Petroleum Act and the issue that the defendant cannot grant more than 1, 295 square metres as the case with the total area covered by the OML 11 which had been in existence before the regulation came into being.”

“I therefore find that having fulfil all obligations require for the renewal of Oil Mining Lease 11, including the payment of rent and royalties and having applied for the renewal of the lease in line with the law, the plaintiff should be granted the renewal.

“I hereby order that the defendants are hereby compel to grant the application for the OML 11 but it shall be in accordance with Paragraph 10 of the first schedule to the Petroleum Act as regard the number of years stated therein and that there shall be no reduction in size of OML 11 as being contemplated by the defendants,” Justice Taiwo ruled.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

Oil & Gas

NOSDRA is investigating cause of fire at OML 95 says D-G



The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on Monday said that the ongoing fire at Ororo oilfield at Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95 is being investigated.


Mr Musa Idris, Director-General of NOSDRA, in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria confirmed that the fire outbreak started at the weekend.


He said that a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to ascertain the cause of the inferno had been convened.


“The well head of Ororo OML 95, operated by Guarantee Petroleum Co Limited, caught fire on Saturday.


“The company has engaged Haliburton and Chevron Nigeria Limited to assist it in extinguishing the fire.


“It will certainly take at least six weeks in the earliest to accomplish that.


“Chevron itself battled a similar fire outbreak on well head last year and  it took it eight weeks to extinguish the fire through an indirect well.


“Joint Investigation will, however, be carried out because of the emergency nature,” Idris said.


The NOSDRA D-G  stated that no life was lost in the incident as all crew were evacuated early.


The oilfield is located at the shallow offshore off the shoreline of  Ondo near Ojumole.


The oil asset was operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited but acquired by  Guarantee Petroleum Co. Limited, an indegenous firm, following the divestment by Chevron from OML 95.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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OML-95-FIRE-225×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”225″ height=”300″ srcset=”×300.jpg 225w,×1024.jpg 768w,×1536.jpg 1152w, 1215w” sizes=”(max-width: 225px) 100vw, 225px”>ONGOING FIRE INCIDENT AT OML 95 OPERATED BY GUARANTEE PETROLEUM IN SHALOW OFFSHORE LOCATION OFF ATLANTIC


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Oil & Gas

Bayelsa Govt to seek review of revocation of OML 46 oilfields licence



The Bayelsa Government will seek the review of the revocation of its Oil Mining Licences (OML) for 46 oilfields by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Mr Daniel Alabra, Acting Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Duoye Diri, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday.

He said that the state government was already studying the revocation order with the intention of seeking a review.

NAN reports that the OML 46 asset held by Bayelsa government located within onshore swamps in Bayelsa was won in 2013 through a bidding process conducted by the DPR.

Meanwhile, the DPR on April 6, announced the revocation of 11 of the 13 marginal fields licenses it issued to indigenous oil firms to build capacity and promote Nigerians’ participation in the oil sector.

Alabra further stated that the state was concerned about the revocation and would take steps to reverse it.

The governor’s spokesman said that the DPR’s decision revoking the licences was most erroneous because the asset had been developed to the point of test production.

“The governor is already being briefed on the matter, he is taking a holistic view in order to arrive at an informed decision.

“The Bayelsa government holds 40 per cent equity in the oil block along with other investors who operate the field, the state does not run the oil business on a day to day basis,” he said.

The chief press secretary expressed the Diri-led administration’s commitment to ensure the development of the oil fields.

“We are hopeful that oil price will rebound, Bayelsa will retain its interests in Atala fields, this investment is well thought out and not misplaced.

“As a government, we are adopting an economic strategy that will shield the state from the shock of low oil prices,” he said. 

Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Sadiya Hamza



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Oil & Gas

NPDC empowers OML 65, NOGA host communities with 7 transformers, 300 freezers in Delta



The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of NNPC, on Thursday empowered OML 65 and NOGA assets host communities with seven 500KVA and 300 KVA step down transformers in Delta.

Other items donated to the host communities are 300 solar powered deep freezers and 3,000 school chairs and desks.

The Managing Director of NPDC, Mansur Sambo, represented by the Deputy Manager, Community Relations Department (CRD), Noble Imabibo, presented the items to members of the communities.

Sambo said NPDC presented the items to OML 65 and NOGA communities to boost their economy as well as ameliorate the untold hardship facing the people of the communities.

He said the items would be shared among the seven communities in the Non Oil and Gas Asset (NOGA) and OML 65 assets host communities equally.

“The items will no doubt improve the presence of social amenities and life of the people.

“It is therefore pertinent to utilise the kind gesture to better your life and that of your families.

“NPDC is a friend to the communities where its operates, we are partners in progress and we share a common bond towards sustaining the existing mutual relationship.

“We shall continue to leverage on the peaceful coexistence and improve on our corporate social responsibilities to bring about development in our host communities,” he said.

According to Sambo, l advise you to eschew all forms of violence, radicalism and other actions capable of creating societal unrest.

Mr Misan Ogbegbe, President General of one of the benefitting communities, Okorofiangbe community in Warri South, thanked NPDC on behalf of the host communities for the gesture.

Ogbegbe urged NPDC to do more and called on other corporate organisations to take seriously their corporate social responsibilities to host communities.

Edited By: Janefrances Oraka/Donald Ugwu

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PSU to provide technical support for implementation of SOMl-PforR



North Central and North East of Savings One Million Lives For Results (SOML-PforR) says the Programme Support Unit (PSU) was aimed at providing technical support for the implementation of the programme.

The Coordinator of SOML-PforR, Dr Dogara Okara, told the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Owerri

that PSU was strengthening the performance programme through technical assistance and support for states to develop and implement a system of performance management.

Okara said that states were also expected to build management capacity for various healthcare programmes.

According to him,  PSU ensures that states appoint lead  programme managers with commensurate capacity to be accountable for the performance management process.

He noted that the PSU also supported states by providing the necessary technical expertise to analyse weaknesses in primary healthcare service delivery.

“This includes availability of financial resources and development of appropriate action plans,’’ he added.

Okara said that the PSU worked closely to strengthen ongoing support, tools and capacity building to state leads and other state leaders.

He said  that such steps would help to analyse weaknesses in Primary Health Centres (PHCs’) performances and also develop and implement corrective measures.

“The PSU ensures that its performance management officers are actively involved. At least, twice a year, high level review meetings are held to discuss, analyse and agree on action plans.”

“We are deploying full-time consultants to provide technical support for all states. The decision to deploy such will be taken in consultation with the programme manager,” he said.

Okara said that the PSU also supported states to formulate plans to earn initial investments.

According to him, the PSU  develops plans to strengthen supportive supervision and introduce innovations and provide expertise to all states to analyse data to inform the design of their plans.

He added that the PSU reviewed draft versions of the plans and provided feedback to improve them.

He disclosed that the PSU also supported the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) on performance management by strengthening the capacity of FMoH staff working on programmes related to SOML-PforR

“Carrying out training needs assessment, examining how FMOH staff are currently tracking performance, devising training programmes and following up support programmes ,” he said.

He added  said that the PSU assisted FMOH with expenditure analysis. Okara noted that PSU would also support the achievements of some of disbursement linked indicators.

Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Ijeoma Popoola

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SOMLPforR: Perm Sec. urges collaborative efforts to strengthen South East healthcare



Dr Nnenna Chikezie, Permanent Secretary and Executive Secretary, Abia State Planning Commission, has called for collaborative efforts to strengthen the South East states health care system.

She said that the region’s health system could be strengthened by taking advantage of the Saving One Million Lives For Results (SOML-PforR) programme.

Chikezie made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency , on Wednesday in Owerri, Imo state.

She spoke on the sideline of a Peer Review Meeting of SOML-PforR, for South East Zone and Benue State, organised by APIN Public Health Initiatives, Programme Support Unit.

She said that strengthening the health system through the SOML-PforR would ensure that people of the region have access to quality healthcare services, which was critical to achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“The South East zone should embark on concerted efforts to strengthen its health systems to improve immunisation coverage, newborn and child health programmes at the Primary HealthCare level,” she said.

The permanent secretary said that adopting a good health system model required subsidising State health insurance scheme to cover vulnerable and poor segments of the people of the region.

“There must be robust health care financial service, reforms in healthcare system, efficiency in the usage of funds and partnerships for more resources for health care,” she added.

She noted that SOML-PforR programme had continued to be the trailblazer in strengthening healthcare system in the country through the grassroots involvement.

She assured that gains from the programme would significantly improve the Health indices in the country.

Chikezie said that immunisation coverage was one of the SOML-PforR indicators used to monitor progress toward the reduction of child morbidity and mortality.

She called on all stakeholders in the health sector from the zone to be on the same page.

She advised that the most important thing they could do to collaborate was to get the region to work together on the same goals.

“We have to set our expectations, use technical tools, be open about everything and

hold effective team meetings.

“Collaboration is mutually beneficial for the South East zone as well as our healthcare system because when we work together, interact and share ideas, we will see and understand how we work, think, negotiate and operate.

“This will speed up solutions because collaboration speeds things up,’’ she said .

Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Felix Ajide

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SOML-PforR will strengthen community participation, quality healthcare delivery in Abia – Coordinator



Dr Suzzy Nwachukwu, Abia  Coordinator, Saving One Million Lives For Results (SOML-PforR), says the programme will strengthen community participation and boost quality of healthcare services delivery in the state.

Nwachukwu told Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Owerri that looking at the successes of  SOML-PforR strategy in Abia,  there was need to further strengthen community participation and ownership through community engagement like “Town hall meetings”.

She spoke on the sideline of a Peer Review Meeting of SOML-PforR for the South East and Benue, organised by APIN Public Health Initiatives, Programme, Support Unit.

According to her, Greater emphasis will be on strengthening the Abia Health System for quality health service delivery by building health workers capacity in clinical competence.

“It will also be to ensure the availability of basic medical equipment, availability of essential drugs and commodities, strengthening leadership and governance at state Ministry of Health level, ” she said.

She explained that the Abia state SOML-PforR had developed a work plan as well as a 2020 Annual Workplan with the programme officers.

Nwachukwu said the plan reflects support from all programmes, State Health Insurance Agency and State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, and with a Technical Assistant from APIN.

She said that the Abia state SOML-PforR best practice was bridging the gap between the PHCs/Health workers and the community by engaging traditional rulers, religious leaders, ward development committee (WDCs), women and youth groups through advocacy and town hall meetings.

The state coordinator said that in return there was an increased in community ownership and participation in PHC activities.

She noted that the engagement had also enhanced the outcome of the SOML-PforR household outreaches and health facility in-reaches.

Also, Nwachukwu said that non-disbursement of funds to the state from the 2018 assessment posed a great challenge.

“We were not deterred as we procured some of the commodities that were needed to implement our 2019 activities on credit.

“As health workers, we were motivated to implement our planned activities, despite the paucity of funds, ” she said.

The coordinator, however, called on the Federal Government to promptly disburse funds within a defined timeline, saying that this would enable the states to plan and promptly implement planned activities to enhance quality healthcare delivery.

Nwachukwu added that it would also enable the state to achieve the overall goals of SOML-PforR, which were to increase the utilisation and quality of high impact reproductive, child health and nutrition interventions.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Felix Ajide

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SOML-PforR: FG to provide incentives to state govts. based on achievements



Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) will continue to provide incentives to state governments

based on achievements and results


health outcomes” to drive institutional processes needed to achieve more results.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said this at a Peer Review Meeting of Saving One Million Lives Programme For

Results (SOML-PforR) for South East Zone and Benue, organised by APIN Public Health Initiatives, Programme Support Unit on Tuesday in Owerri.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting was organised for state health commissioners and state-level stakeholders

from Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi and Benue.

The meeting

is to evaluate the activities of SOML-PforR in the states.

Ehanire, who was represented by Dr Ibrahim Kana, the National Programme Manager, SOML-PforR, said “the programme seeks to catalyse

change in the way health business is done by focusing on results and governance.”

The minister added that

the ‎ programme focused on six pillars; including improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), improving routine

immunisation coverage and achieving polio eradication.

Others are the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, scaling up access to essential medicines and commodities, malaria control

and improving child nutrition.

He said that “the programme represents a bold attempt to improve maternal and child health outcomes so that they are more in keeping with the country’s level of wealth.”

He noted that the programme was also intended to make the health sector to contribute to the economic and social development of Nigeria.

 “This would bring about a re-orientation of service delivery to results, rather than just inputs,” he said.

The minister enjoined the commissioners to live up to their responsibilities and make every effort at ensuring the success of the programme.

He said that the peer review provides an opportunity to review progress, deliberate and identify ways to address challenges and improve performance.

NAN recalls that SOML_PforR programme is an initiative of the Federal Government with support from the World Bank aimed

at increasing access to health facilities for mothers, newborns and children, among others.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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Aiteo’s OML 29 suit: Court declines application to stay hearing



A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa on Friday declined to halt proceedings in the ongoing litigation by Nembe Communities, hosts to Oil Mining Lease (OML 29) over the adverse impact of oil exploration on them.

The Nembe communities in Bayelsa had filed a suit against Aiteo Exploration and Production Limited, but another firm Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Exploration Company approached the court to be joined as the holder of OML 29 lease.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro, had joined Aiteo Eastern Exploration Limited and other adjourning communities in the suit, but declined an application to strike out Aiteo Exploration and Production Company from the suit.

Aiteo Exploration and Exploration subsequently headed to the court of Appeal in Port Harcourt and applied to the Federal High Court to stay proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.

Earlier, Lead Counsel to the Nembe communities, Mr Iniruo Wills, told the court that they had filed a counter affidavit opposing the application for stay of execution saying that the application was a delay tactics to waste the time of the court.

He urged the court to consider the plight of the law abiding people of Nembe who had taken the peaceful route in seeking legal redress rather than resorting to self help.

Mr Andrew Oru, Counsel to Aiteo Exploration, urged the court to grant its application for stay but other parties who were joined as co-plantiffs opposed the application on the grounds that they were yet to be served.

The OML, was supposed to be renewed on June 30, 2019

The court had on June 24, 2019 declined an application to halt the renewal of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 pending, the determination of a suit by Nembe communities in Bayelsa.

The OML 29 host communities are seeking an environmental audit of the impact of the oil field on the host communities, and the implementation of the social obligations of the host communities by the operator of the oil block amongst others.

The presiding judge in a response to Oru maintained that the applications being argued was yet to be formally brought before her.

She therefore adjourned the case until May 12 for ruling on pending applications on the case.

The lease expired on June 30, 2020 while the operator of the oilfields had commenced renewal formalities with the payment of 82 million dollars to the Department of Petroleum Resources

The plaintiffs are Ikaonaworio Eferebo-Igoma, Iyerite Chiefson Awululu-Atubu, Ayebaesin Edoghotu-Omoh, Markson Amaegbe-Orutari, B.C. Benwari-Yousuo and Doibo Evans representing OML 29 host communities.

The defendants are the Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria.

Others are: Aiteo Exploration and Production Ltd, Attorney-General of Bayelsa and The Deeds Registrar, Bayelsa Ministry of Lands.

Shell Petroleum Development Company in 2015 divested its equity in OML 29 and transferred its interest in the oil block, including the 97 kilometer Nembe Creek Trunk Line for 1.7 billion dollars to Aiteo.

However, the host community, said the divestment was done “without resolving the untold negative impact of their operations on the people”

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza


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Oil & Gas

DPR hands over OML 98 to NPDC



The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)  has officially handed over the Oil Mining Licence  (OML) 98 to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Speaking at the hand-over on Friday in Abuja, Mr Sarki Auwalu, DRP Director and Chief Executive Officer, said that the licence was revoked from its operators Pan Ocean oil corporation over non remittance of royalties.

OML 98 is the only asset belonging to a Joint Venture (JV) between NNPC and Pan Ocean Oil. OML 98 is located in the onshore Niger Delta.

The acreage was originally awarded to Pan Ocean in 1971 as OPL 71 and was converted into OML 98 in 1975. Production from the JV started in 1976

OML 98 is an asset that is prolific.

The 2P reserve is about 43 million barrels with 20 million barrels of condensates, with over 383 billion SCF of gas.

These assets is supposed to work.

“There is an obligation for each and every company that they need to pay to government; and the first line charge is royalty. If a company is not paying royalty, it means the company is not performing.

“So government is invoke its own right to revoke the asset and give it to somebody that would pay that royalty to the Nigerian people; because royalty is what Nigerians really take out of the business.

“All the investors they would come, we would give them opportunities by giving them the assets; they would put in their money and they would give certain royalties, concession rentals and other revenue to government.

”That is really what government takes from the asset, the resource; whether it is oil, condensates or gas.The reason for the revocation is failure to meet obligations of that asset to government,’’  he said

He said that five other licences that were revoked alongside OML 98 were revoked for the same reason adding that government was looking at for the best people to transfer the assets to for maximum utilisation and benefits.

“Why, because, we want the assets to work and we want Nigerian people  to benefit from the resources they were blessed with ,so, the fate of the others will be similar to this  and government is looking at the best way to operate the assets  for  Nigerians to benefits.’’ he added

He said that NPDC got the asset for its proven confidence in operations over the years.

“This is a company that 15 years ago they could not show  to drill up to 10,000 barrels but now, our NPDC can produced over 150 million  barrel per day .

“It shows that now, Nigeria has come of age, we have company of our own, 100 per cent Nigerians, operate by Nigerians and work for Nigeria and we are ready to transport skills.

“NPDC have fantastic  good skills, there is no white man working in NPDC, drilling, production 100 per cent Nigeria, we are proud of them and we need to support them. This is our own made in Nigeria, by Nigeria and for Nigeria,’’ he said.

According to him, that is why government thought it wise handing over the OML 98 to them as it is our own company to make sure that Nigeria works.

He noted that the handing over of the assets to NPDC means that Nigeria oil and gas sector  had grown adding that the policy idea was to ensure that Nigeria take charge of its resources.

Auwalu urged the company to be responsible and ensure that it operated with ultimate transparency and develop the asset for the benefit of Nigeria.

He noted that government would not spare any body found wanting

Ferdnard Bariwer, General Manager Exploration and Development Division, NPDC said that the company would look at the asset and sort the best things to do to move forward.

“I strongly believe that we are doing more studies already, other activities; we will look at the OMLs and see the quick wins to start producing as soon as possible to meet the expectation of the nation.

“I assure you, I have been in NPDC since 1987 and I know the capability that we have , I assure you the government and everybody that NPDC is capable of handling the OML,’’ he said

He said that currently the company was producing about 200,000 barrel and working hard to move to between 300 and 500 barrel per day.

“Before the year will run, you will hear from us how much we are producing,’’ he said.

Bariwe represented the Managing Director of NPDC, Mansur Sambo.

 Also, Mr  Olajide Ishola, Chief Operation Officer Pan Ocean Oil Corporation said that the asset was  given to Pan Ocean 1973  and production  started in 1976.

“So, we have operated the asset for 43 years, we are a responsible company , however, as thing went the way it went, this revocation is really not new as its been done since March last year.

“ Today, is not a sad day, because since March last year that the revocation has been done, a lot of things has been left in limbo.

”This meeting of today sets the tone for the handover and the future of the asset, and also for those things left in limbo, like what do we do to the staff; the oil that has been produced, that was warehoused and not sold, not shared and all t he rest.

“I want to reiterate that as Pan Ocean, we will cooperate with NPDC and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the directive is carried out for the benefit of Nigerians,’’ he said

Commenting on the Legacy debts, he said it would d be worked on and sorted by the NPDC as the new operator.

“We would work along and cooperate with them to ensure it is done properly,’’ he added.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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