DPR revokes licenses of Pan Ocean, summit, others

THE Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has revoked the oil licenses of five companies due to non-settlement of legacy debts.

The DPR revoked Oil Mining Licenses (OML) and one Oil Prospecting License (OPL).

DPR also revoked one oil prospecting licenses, OPL.

The revocation of oil licenses was contained in a public notice issued on Thursday.

DPR explained that the revocation was based on a presidential directive to “recover legacy debts” owed by the companies operating the licenses.

Companies affected include 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).

The OML 98 controlled by Pan Ocean is owned by businessman Lekan Fadeyi; OMLs 120 and 121, held by Allied Energy, now Erin Energy- the company is now bankrupt; OML 108, owned by Express Petroleum, and OML 141, held by Emerald Resources.

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The only affected OPL 206 is held by Summit Oil International, a company founded by the late Moshood Abiola.

Pan Ocean, Allied Energy, and Yinka Folawiyo were among companies listed inside the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI’s latest report, for owing the Nigerian government some royalties in 2016.

NEITI specifically stated that Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (Nigeria) Limited failed to make any financial payments in 2016, despite being in Joint Venture (JV) arrangement with the Federation.

“The non-payment by these companies will result in revenue loss to the federation. It is worthy to note that Pan Ocean did not make any financial payments in 2016, despite being in JV arrangement with the federation,” NEITI noted.

Former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, had warned that such oil companies that failed to settle their legacy debt will have their licenses revoked.

He said it is regrettable that some oil firms after enjoying some grace period ranging between 30 to 90 days, have failed to pay up what was due to government. He explained that the initiatives on aggressive revenue drive by DPR have led to about 80 per cent increase in payment of royalties by oil companies.

‘‘A situation whereby we write to oil companies to pay up royalties, and for 90 days they are unable to comply. What that simply says is that they are not ready for business and we cannot continue to wait for such companies. We must move on.

“So going forward, I have asked the DPR to give an additional 30 days grace period, after which their licenses will be withdrawn. I have instructed the DPR to revoke their licenses,” he said.

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