Most of the Performing Oil Blocs Belongs to Operators From the South – Report
Since the statement last week, credited to the Chairman,Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, representing Akwa Ibom North Senatorial district that 83% of the country’s oil blocks are owned by operators from the north, there have been claims and counter claims on that revelation. In what it termed as digging up the mess in the divisive comments by Senator Enang, Daily Trust said it has uncovered the truth about the oil block ownership and concluded that most of the performing oil blocs belong to operators from the South.
Below is what their findings uncovered….
Reeling out facts and figures about ownership of oil blocs in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly last week, Senator Ita Enang, Chairman, Senate Committee on Business and Rules, representing Akwa Ibom North, cut the picture of a senator whose intellectual capacity drew close to the ideal member of the Senate. At least, in Nigeria, very few senators engage in in-depth research ahead of debates on the floor of the Chamber.
It would be the second time that this distinguished senator would demonstrate his brilliance on serious national issues in recent times. Earlier in January, he discovered a large hole in the activities of the Senate’s Anti-Terrorism Bill, which, contrary to best practices in developed countries, made the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the custodian of the vital law. As it were, he couldn’t hold on to his excellent point of view, because when the law was eventually passed, the defect was not corrected.
As the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) took a divisive turn in the Upper Chamber, Senator Enang, who may have engaged consultants to dust off statistics on ownership of oil blocs in the country, impressed on the Senate that the North was in control of 83 per cent of the oil blocs. And he gave the names of the oil companies and their owners.
But an in-depth investigation into oil blocs ownership carried out by Sunday Trust found the opposite of what was presented by the senator. Instead, northerners are the least when we consider owners of such assets.
Out of the total 32 marginal oil fields, mostly operated by the indigenous oil and gas companies, about 20 of the fields are owned by Southern entrepreneurs, including some companies owned by Bayelsa and Delta states.
Again, Sunday Trust learnt that out of the 169 Oil Mining Lease (OMLs) and Oil Prospecting License (OPL) in the country, 97 percent is owned and operated by the multinationals, which include Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Total, Eni and other independent operators.
Records obtained by Sunday Trust from the Department of Petroleum Resources showing the companies profiles revealed that some of the vibrant oil fields all belong to the entrepreneurs from South -West, South-East and Niger Delta.
Companies such as Oando Plc and Conoil Plc are now some of the major indigenous operators of the oil fields. For instance, Conoil is the biggest beneficiary with about six oil fields: OML 59,103,136, 2007, 290, and 257 while Oando has two fields, which include OPL 236 and 278.
Senator Enang forgot to capture individuals and companies who also belong to the south, especially the Niger Delta, with very lucrative oil fields that generate billions of Naira on monthly basis. A segment of his presentation which queried equity in the distribution of oil blocs has the following on its list:
1. Cavendish Petroleum, the operators of the OML 110, awarded to Alhaji Mai Deribe of Borno State – North East, nets an average of about N4 Billion monthly.
2. Seplat/Platform Petroleum, operators of the ASUOKPU/UMUTU Marginal Field with Mallam (Prince) Sanusi Lamido as a major shareholder and Director.
3. South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO) established by General T. Y. Danjuma, who is also the Chairman of Eni Nigeria Limited. SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Limited to become operators of the OPL 246.
4. AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company is owned by Alhaji (Colonel) Sani Bello of Kontangora, Niger State. They are operators of OML 112 and OML 117. A former Petroleum Minister and former OPEC Chairman, Rilwanu Lukman, another northerner, manages AMNI Oil blocs and with very key interests in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal.
5. Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Indimi runs three oil blocs: OML 115, the Oldwok field and the Ebok field.
6. Alhaji Aminu Dantata’s Express Petroleum and Gas Limited operates OML 108.
7. OML 113 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited is owned by Alhaji W. I. Folawiyo.
8. OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor which was sold by Starcrest to Addax Petroleum. Emeka Offor still has a stake in Addax operations in Nigeria.
9. Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria with 6 oil blocs.
10. Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo North East Petroleum Limited is the holder of the OPL 215 License. NOREAST Petroleum, as it is known, was awarded the blocs OPL 276 and OPL 283 and closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and CCC Oil and Gas.
11. INTEL is owned by Atiku, Yar’adua and Ado Bayero and has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.
Senator Enang ignored many other companies which include these owned by Dr A. B. C. Orjiako, Chairman Seplat Petroleum Development Company, the operators of OMLs 4,38 and 41 from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture, SEPLAT.
The company’s profile shows that it has continued production from the assets with average daily production of about 50,000 bpd (barrels of oil per day) of oil and 125 MMscfd of gas. All the gas production from the assets is sold to the Nigerian Gas Company, through existing pipeline networks.
Other Directors of the Seplat include Mr Austin Avuru, MD/CEO, Mr Jean-Francois Henin (Foreigner), Director, Mr Michel Hochard (Foreigner), Mr Mac Ofurhie, Director and Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero, Director.
Another company that escaped the memory of Senator Enang was Midwestern Oil & Gas Company Plc. The company is owned by the Delta State Government and some Nigerian entrepreneurs. The company was incorporated in 1999, but commenced its operations in 2001 with upstream field activities from 2005.
The company is focused on harnessing the opportunities in the exploration and production section of the oil industry in Nigeria. Records show that Midwestern produces up to 9,500 bopd from onshore Umusadege field, but hopes to increase this to 25,000 bopd, in the near future.
Platform Petroleum Limited is owned by Adegoke, Oluwafeyisola Sylvester while his deputy is Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs. This is another story of the marginal field that Mr Enang failed to share with his colleagues.
Platform Petroleum Limited was allocated the Asuokpu/Umutu Marginal Field as sole Farmee/Operator. According to the company, by year end (2009) “we would have fully met our target of assembling the building blocks for the creation of an enduring, world-class Nigerian Independent oil company.”
Platform has record of 24 months of continuous crude oil production with less than 2% production deferment, a 30mmscfd Gas Plant (nearing completion), capable of feeding 100MT/day of LPG into the local market, a fully-manned corporate structure consisting of 78 permanent staff and 92 contract/outsourced staff (all Nigerians).
Sogenal is the operator of the Akepo. The field is one of the six marginal fields that are currently producing or actively expecting production, out of 30 fields awarded in the marginal field bid round in 2003.
Sogenal initially farmed out 30 per cent of its interest in the field to Oando and 10 per cent to Exile Resources, but following Oando’s recent buy-back of Exile, its stake has increased to 40 per cent. Sogenal retains 60 per cent and operatorship status. The company is believed to be owned by powerful southern elders, although details on this are sketchy.
Dubri Oil Company Limited (DOCL) is believed to be the oldest producing indigenous upstream oil company in the country. It was incorporated on the 10th March 1987. It has its incorporated head office at 13A, A. J. Marinho drive Victoria Island Annexe, Lagos, Nigeria and operational Office at 56 Boundary Road, GRA, Benin City. It is privately owned, and is the first indigenous petroleum producing company in Nigeria. The owners are U. J. Itsueli as Chairman, B. N. Itsueli, Director, A. E. Ihuegbu, Director, Omy Itsueli, Director C. Seweje, Director and J. O. Onilude, Secretary.
The Company has a flow- station within Gelegele community by River Osse in Ovia North West Local Government Area, Edo State.
Chorus Energy operators of Dr Godswill S. Ihetu, Alade Agbabiaka (SAN), Nigel Nicholson, Theo Akinyede, Dr Kombo Braide, Paul Jennings, Theo Onyia and Senator Samaila Mamman recently had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with four other marginal Field Operators within the same OML 56 and the nearby OML 38. The objective is for the companies to collaborate in all aspects of their operations that would bring economy to their individual operations.
In 2006, CEL entered into a Farm in Agreement with Septa as financing and technical partner in the Amoji/Matsogo/Igbolo assets. Septa Energy Nigeria Limited (Septa) is an affiliate of Seven Energy International (Seven), an indigenous gas focused Exploration and Production Company currently developing onshore domestic gas supply projects.
Consolidated Oil Limited is part owner of OML 103 and 458 offshore. The company is also part of the asset of Dr M Adenuga Mike (Jnr).
Emerald Oil is owned by former Special Adviser of the President on Energy, Dr Emmanuel O. Egbogah and assisted Jude Amaefule, among others. Emerald Energy Resources Limited was designated operator by the government and awarded 55% working interest in OPL 229 (now OML 141) during the Year 2000 Nigerian Oil and Gas Licensing Rounds, with Amni International Petroleum Development Company Ltd being awarded a 45% working interest as syndicated partner.
Energia Limited is owned by Mr Amieyeofori Felix, an entrepreneur from Niger Delta. The company is the Joint Venture Operator of the Ebendo/Obodeti Marginal Field (ex- Obodugwa/Obodeti Marginal field) located near Kwale, in Ndokwa West LGA, Delta State. The field was awarded to Energia and Oando, in a 55%/45% equity split with Energia as the designated Operator in the 2003 Federal Government/DPR Marginal Field rounds.
Britania-U is the operator of Ajapa field. The firm is owned by Mrs Catherine Uju Ifejika. The field current daily production is 2,300 bopd.
Moni Pulo has acquired expertise as the sole operator of its asset, OML 114. In 1992, the Company was awarded Oil Prospecting License (OPL 230). In 2007, the company successfully acquired three new oil blocks – OPL 239 in Ondo state, OPL 234 in Abia/Akwa Ibom states and OPL 231 in Cross River/Akwa Ibom states.
Founded and incorporated by High Chief (Dr) O. B. Lulu-Briggs, in 1992, Moni Pulo Limited (MPL) represents another interest of the Niger Deltans in the oil and gas fields.
Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited is owned by Sir Emeka Offor. The company just completed its acquisition of a 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 40. With the Federal Government’s approval of the stake assignment to Elcrest Exploration and Production Company, parties to the oil bloc finally signed all necessary documents to legalize the divestment deal.
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