The Oil and Gas Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre (ADRC) set up by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has begun sitting to reduce the number of cases that get to the regular courts.
In a statement issued yesterday, the oil and gas industry regulator noted that the centre had already successfully resolved its first case in line with the objective of the federal government for speedy resolution of disputes in the industry.
The Head, Public Affairs of the DPR, Mr. Paul Osu, who made the announcement in a statement made available to journalists, stressed that four other cases were currently at the hearing stage before the ADRC.
According to the DPR, the ADRC is one of the units of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC) inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Osu said the ADRC has a six-member advisory council and a 20-member body of neutrals, which have been mediating on disputes among players in the oil and gas value chain.
He stated that the setting up of the ADRC was in consonance with the provisions of the Petroleum Act Cap P10 Laws of the Federation 2004 which emphasises the settlement of disputes through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms without recourse to litigation.
According to him, “The ADRC has successfully resolved its first case, and we have four others pending. This is a positive step for the industry because the objective of setting up the centre is to reduce cost, enhance safety and add value to the sector.
“With this, we can begin to win investors’ confidence, thereby attracting more investments to the oil and gas sector.”
He explained that participating or referring of cases to ADRC was voluntary, adding that it would however be very beneficial to the parties.
The centre, the DPR said, was set up to offer arbitration, mediation and conciliation services for the industry.
The advisory council is made up of the Director/CEO of DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, who is the chairman, as well as Justice Saliu Said, Justice Cecelia Olatoregun, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), Mr. Daere Akobo and Mr. Nicholas Odinuwe.