The Department of Petroleum Resources, in a public notice on Thursday, revealed that it has revoked the licenses of five oil firms as a result of legacy debts owed the federation. Vigil360 gathered that among the firm is one owned by the late Chief Moshood Abiola.
The regulatory agency revoked five Oil Mining Leases and one Oil Prospecting License, it stated. An OPL gives its holder the exclusive right to explore for and develop oil and gas within a defined area while an OML gives its holder the exclusive right to explore for, develop and produce oil and gas within a defined area.
A statement from DPR reads, “Notice is hereby given that in furtherance of the presidential directive on the recovery of legacy debts owed the Federation and in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Act Cap. P10LFN 2004, the under listed Oil Mining Leases and Oil Prospecting Licence has been revoked by the Federal Government of Nigeria for non-compliance with statutory regulatory obligations,” the DPR said.
The affected companies are Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (OML 98); Allied Energy Resources Nigeria, (OML 120 and 121); Express Petroleum and Gas Company (OML 108); Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria (OML 110) and Summit Oil International (OPL 206).
OML 108, being operated by Alhaji Aminu Dantata’s Express Petroleum & Gas Company Limited, expired in 2015, while OPL 206, owned by Summit Oil International, which was founded by Abiola, expired in 2014.
OML 110, operated by Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria Limited, which was founded by the late Alhaji Mai Deribe, expired in 2016.
Pan Ocean Oil Corporation has Dr Festus Fadeyi as its chairman, while allied Energy Resources (now Allied Energy Plc) operates as a subsidiary of CAMAC Energy Holdings Limited, founded by Mr Kase Lawal.
Recall that in January this year, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) named Pan Ocean, Allied Energy and Express Petroleum among oil companies that either defaulted in the payment of Petroleum Profit Tax, Education Tax, among others, to the Federal Government in 2016. In the report which it released, NEITI further disclosed that Pan Ocean owed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation an outstanding debt of $135.8m since 1985.