• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Unlock stranded oil field, OML11, stakeholders urge government


Stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry have again emphasised the need for the government to make haste and ensure the unlocking of Oil Mining Lease 11 (OML11), which has remained dormant since Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) withdrew from the location in 1993.

According to them, the oil bloc harbours a lot of reserve that could have been to the advantage of the country today but nothing is happening in it.

They says the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is currently running the 2020 bid round for 57 marginal oil fields located offshore, swamp and onshore terrains in the Niger Delta. This exercise is expected to be concluded this year. The activities are run in accordance with specific guidelines made public as part of the bid process.

When completed, the fields would be allocated to the oil companies who successfully scaled through the Technical and Commercial tender evaluations, and pay the required signature bonus. Thereafter, the companies will be given licence to enter into the fields to commence exploration and development to produce oil and gas.

The 57 fields selected carefully excluded all the fields in OML 11 within the geographical territory of Ogoni land that have remained locked in due to crisis in the communities, and insecurity.

The exclusion, they say, is necessary to avoid further crisis, as every attempt by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to cede the Ogoni oil fields to an operating company for resumption of Exploration and Production (E&P) activities have failed, since the forced shut down in 1993 when the operator, SPDC, was chased away.

“All the plans to get an operator back have failed, primarily because the attempts were done secretly, with selected companies not going through an open and transparent process, in line with recognised industry practices.

Some of these companies included Belema Oil, Robo Michael, TEN Oil, and more recently Sahara Energy. All these were rejected by Ogoni people because they were allegedly forced on them,” the state.

According to Eddie Wikina, former managing director, Treasure Energy Resources Limited, and an ex-general manager in Shell Nigeria, it is generally a considered opinion that any process that will lead to a successful resumption of E&P activities in Ogoni must include views and wishes of the people, and they must be open and transparent.

Charles Amoor, a consultant in the industry, says, ”Ogoni people have gone through a wide stakeholder’s engagement process, to produce a Template to guide the process of selecting an Operator who is acceptable. The Template addresses the Needs, Interests, Concerns and Expectations of the wide spectrum of Ogoni people. The Template is based on the model of Partnership, Respect, Inclusiveness and Participation.”