Home Oil and Gas Senate tongue lashes NUPRC over revocation of Atala OML 46 licence, insists on re -allocation to Hardy Oil

Senate tongue lashes NUPRC over revocation of Atala OML 46 licence, insists on re -allocation to Hardy Oil

by Business News Report

Senate has lashed out at the Department of Petroleum Resources ( DPR), now Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission ( NUPRC ) over revocation of Atala Marginal oil field ( OML 46 ) in February 2020. While it faulted the NUPRC over its action, it however ordered the commission to as a matter of urgency,  re-allocate the oil field to original owners as earlier directed by the Presidency. Senate’s resolutions were sequel to recommendations by the Senator Ayo Akinyelure, led Senate Committee on Ethics , Privileges and Public Petitions. Recall that  President Muhammadu Buhari had in October 2022, ordered NUPRC , to re – allocate the oil fields to the original owners since Halkins was not even a registered company when Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited , Bayelsa Oil Company Limited and Century Exploration  and Production Limited , developed the oil field from 2014 to 2018  and acquired licence for its exploration .

The Senate had given Senator  Akinyelure led committee the mandate to carry out an investigation into petitions  petitions forwarded to it by Sir Daniel Chukwudozie on behalf of Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited , Bayelsa Oil Company Limited ( BOCL) and Century Exploration and Production Limited ( CEPL) against NUPRC for alleged illegal and fraudulent revocation of Atala Marginal Field ( OML 46) and its re – award to Halkin Exploration and Production Limited. In the petition, Award of the Oil field to Halkins was in breach of due process and Presidential Directive. In its recommendations to the Senate after its investigation, the Committee  recommended to the Senate , that it should be re – allocated to original owners who are Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited , Bayelsa oil Company Limited and Century Exploration and Production Limited. The adopted recommendation of the committee by the Senate read “that since the revocation of the Atala Marginal Field ( OML 46) was based on misleading information supplied by Halkin Exploration and Production Limited and since NUPRC was unable to produce written evidence that President Muhammadu Buhari actually reversed his initial directive on consideration of owners / operators of Atala Marginal Field for re-award as claimed by NUPRC, the committee strongly recommends that the oil field be returned to its original owners / operators.

“This recommendation is inline with Presidential directive which was applied in returning the Nine marginal fields to their original owners / operators. Halkin Exploration and Production Limited as clearly stated in the petition and listed in the records of Corporate Affairs Commission ( CAC)  became an incorporated company  September 9, 2019.

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