ELEVEN firms have lost their oil licences to operate marginal fields.
This follows their failure to meet government’s criteria to keep the licences 15 years after they were given then franchise.
The marginal oil fields include: Ekeh field Oil Mining Lease (OML) 88 operated by Movido Exploration and Production Limited; Ofa field in OML 30 and operated by Independent Energy Limited (IEL) with 67. 5 per cent equity, First Hydrocarbon Limited FHN 16.25 per cent and Xenoil 16.25 per cent and Tom Shot Bank (TSB) in OML 14 is owned by Associated Oil and Gas Services Limited.
Others are Atala, located in OML 83 and the Bayelsa State Government has 40 per cent equity in it while First Exploration and Production (40 per cent); Akepo in OML 90, owned by Sogenal Limited and Oando Energy Resources; Oriri field in OML 88, operated by Goland Petroleum Development Company and Ke, an onshore field located in OML 55 owned by Del Sigma Petroleum Limited.
They include: Ogedeh field in OML 90 and operated by Bicta Energy; Ororo field in OML 95, owned by Guarantee Petroleum Limited and Owena Oil and Gas Limited; Dawes Island field located in OML 54 is operated by Eurafric Energy Limited; and Tsekelewu field in OML 40 is owned by Sahara Energy and African Oil and Gas Limited in ratio of 70 per cent and 30 per cent equity holdings.
Head of Media, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Paul Osu, confirmed that the licences for the marginal oil fields had been revoked by the Federal Government.
He said: “These fields were allocated to the licensees since 2003 and the agreement the licensees had with the government on award of the fields to them was that the fields after five years from the period of allocation would be put into production.”
However, the DPR spokesman noted that the licensees had always pleaded for extension of time and the government in its magnanimity continued to give them more time.
He said: “This is 15 years down the line. Has government not given them enough grace? None of the fields is producing as we speak.
“Remember that the marginal fields policy was government’s economic decision and action to stimulate the economy, increase reserves and most of all enable indigenous oil companies to participate in oil exploration and production.”
On what the government will do with the marginal oil fields, the DPR spokesman said the government may put the fields on offer when carrying out another bid round.
The government in 2003 marginal fields bid rounds awarded 24 marginal fields to local firms and 13 out of the 24, including Platform Petroleum, Waltersmith Petroman Oil and Gas Limited, and Midwestern Oil Petroleum, have since begun production.
Industry stakeholders said last night that “some of the licensees whose franchise were revoked have gone far in their operations and were only waiting for the DPR to grant them necessary permits to conduct Well tests, start production, evacuate and sell their crude oil and gas. Some of the licensees have even sold and have paid royalty fees, among others to government”.
They said that Del Sigma Petroleum Limited, the operator of Ke oil field, had paid royalty to government having produced crude into tanks waiting for DPR approval to evacuate and export. Independent Energy Limited, they said, had pumped crude into the Forcados terminal and
Others fields such as Dawes Island, Ofa, Akepo and Ekeh had gone far with their production process having drilled some of their Wells and awaiting surface facilities to produce.
The stakeholders urged the government to reverse the revocation order.