PIB vs Expired Oil Lease



ADVISORY: please take your time to read thru these “collections” of online journalistic reports culled for your informative delight so that you can be able to make informed an judgment on whether to support or partner with our noble cause or not…




Articulled from; http://www.nairaland.com Re: Understanding The PIB (Petroleum Industry Bill) by Jarus(m): 5:45pm On May 20, 2013

A bill is a draft of a proposed law that is still undergoing legislative scrutiny. When it is passed by the National Assembly, it becomes an Act. No other bill has been more popular since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999 than the current Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) – maybe the Freedom of Information Bill comes near. The reason is not far-fetched: anything petroleum in Nigeria generates passionate interest.

Every lettered Ade, Ada and Adamu is aware that there is a contentious bill by the name PIB, but other than the professionals – journalists, informed oil sector workers, regulatory and professional services providers, industry watchers and analysts – and some politicians, few people understand what the PIB is about. In this essay, I have attempted to explain the PIB in the most basic of terms.

PIB is a bill that, when passed as an Act, becomes the master reference law that governs the Nigerian petroleum industry – from the upstream division (exploratory, development and production activities) through the midstream (gas processing) to downstream (servicing, refining, distribution, transportation, marketing/retailing).

Shortly after President Olusegun Obasanjo assumed office in his first term, he set up a committee, called the Oil and Gas Industry Committee (OGIC), with a mandate to take a comprehensive look at Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and offer better ways of managing the industry. Obviously, many of the laws and regulations guiding the industry had been around for long, some far back 1950’s, and although they had undergone amendments, the federal government considered it necessary to take an holistic review of the industry with a view to getting the best of it by all stakeholders. The OGIC was led by Mr. Rilwanu Lukman, veteran petroleum engineer and former Secretary-General of OPEC, and had other oil industry eggheads. The committee submitted its report, and its recommendations formed the basis of Petroleum Industry Bill, which has since been subjected to further reviews and adjustments.

The Bill seeks to:
• Create a conducive business environment for petroleum operations
• Enhance exploitation and exploration of petroleum resources in Nigeria for the benefit of Nigerians
• Optimize domestic gas supplies, especially for power generation and industrial development
• Encourage investment in Nigerian petroleum industry
• Optimize government revenue
• Establish profit-driven oil entities
• Deregulate and liberalize the downstream petroleum sector
• Create efficient and effective regulatory agencies
• Promote the development of Nigerian content in the oil industry
• Protect health, safety and the environment in petroleum operations

• More jobs for Nigerians – as it will become illegal to employ foreigners for certain skills that can be sourced locally
• Where such skills are sourced from abroad due to unavailability locally, a local understudying the expat is a requirement
• The above is applicable not only to skill, but to materials sourcing
• The above means more jobs for Nigerian local contractors, especially those from the oil producing regions
• Gas is still under-focused in Nigeria and the potential from this source of energy lays untapped. PIB seeks to maximize this. If well explored, this will boost power supply in Nigeria
• Government revenue from oil industry will increase. This means more funds in the hands of government to engage in developmental activities, ideally
• The downstream sector becomes fully deregulated. In other words, subsidy will fully go.
• Subsidy removal is not totally bad, if there are no distortions to market – this is my personal opinion as an economist (well, accountant with academic training in economics)
• Environmental protection – what Saro Wiwa and co fought for, and the initial grudge of the Niger Delta militancy – will be addressed to a large extent

The PIB vests ownership and management of all petroleum resources, offshore or onshore, in the Federal Government of Nigeria, which manage them on behalf of all Nigerians. This means irrespective of where the oil is found, it belongs to the government of Nigeria. Of course, equity calls for special consideration for localities where the resources are mined.

This is taken care of by the Revenue sharing laws and other provisions of this Bill like the Host Community Fund (10% of all profits from all oil companies payable directly to all oil communities).
• PETROLEUM TECHNICAL BUREAU (PTB): This will be a special unit under the office of the Minister of Petroleum. It will be peopled by professionals from both the upstream and downstream sectors and charged with the responsibility of rendering professional support to the minister

• UPSTREAM PETROLEUM INSPECTORATE (UPI): The UPI will regulate technical and commercial activities in the upstream sector. It will be responsible for issuing licences and permits. Representatives on Federal Mistry of Finance, NUPENG, PENGASSAN etc will part of UPI board, in addition to other professionals appointed by the president. The UPI is not profit-driven, it will therefore not pay income tax

• DOWNSTREAM PETROLEUM REGULATORY AGENCY (DPRA): This is to be the downstream industry, what the UPI is to the upstream industry. So if you want to set up a filling station, for instance, you approach DPRA.

Note that the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) currently does what UPI and DPRA will be doing. In other words, PIB unbundles DPR into UPI and DPRA

• THE PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FUND (PTDF): The PTDF will continue to exist. The objective of the PTDF is to develop and train manpower necessary to service the petroleum industry in Nigeria. The body gives scholarships to Nigerians, sponsors and supports researches etc

• THE PETROLEUM EQUALIZATION FUND (PEF): The PEF continues to exist under the regime PIB seeks to introduce. The PEF is responsible for accounting for the ‘subsidy’ – the leverage given to Nigerians by making oil marketers sell at prices below market price i.e equalizing. But what is unclear to me is how this will continue to exist when subsidy will be totally removed. But my guess is the continuous existence will be to take care of the backlogs in the equalization funds accounting or to continue its function until after final subsidy is finally removed, the scrapped.

• THE PETROLEUM HOST COMMUNITIES FUND (PHCF): Host communities are communities where petroleum resources are found i.e the Niger Delta and other areas it will be found in the future (like my village in Kwara…lol). The PIB will require oil and gas producing companies to contribute an amount (10% of their profits after adjusting for Hydrocarbon Tax and Companies Income Tax) into this Fund. The funds will be used to develop the economy and infrastructure of these communities. A community that still goes ahead to destroy assets of companies producing in their locality will forfeit their share of PHCF. A good deal, if you ask me.

• THE NATIONAL PETROLEUM ASSETS MANAGEMENT CORPORATION (NAPEMC): The NAPEMC will be responsible for managing government investments in the upstream industry. It will have subsidiaries to carry out different aspects of these activities. It will take over assets and liabilities of NNPC, will be incorporated and fully profit-driven. It is not a regulatory entity. NNPC employees shall be transferred to this entity.

• THE NATIONAL OIL COMPANY (NOC): This will also be an offshoot of NNPC, but unlike NAPEMC which will be a limited liability company, the NOC will be listed on the Stock Exchange, meaning you and I can buy its shares. Up to 30% of its share will be available for grabs by the public. Certain employees, assets and liabilities of NNPC will also be transferred to the NOC.

• THE NATIONAL GAS COMPANY (NGC): This will also be listed as a PLC and certain employees, assets and liabilities of NNPC will be transferred to it.

The PIB effectively repeals the Petroleum Profits Tax Act (PPTA), which has been governed fiscal framework in the upstream sector pre-PIB. Upstream oil and gas companies will now be subject to
• Companies Income Tax (CIT): Like the downstream businesses. It remains at 30% of adjusted profits
• Hydrocarbon Tax (HCT): This is a new tax to be introduced by the PIB for upstream operators. The rate is 50%
Roughly, the effective tax rate in the upstream industry comes to around 80%. It should be noted the repealed PPTA ranges from 66.75% to 85%. So it may be net benefit or hit to companies depending on their operations.

Education Tax remains unchanged at 2% of assessable income.

Although I have summarized the PIB in layman language, it no doubt goes beyond this. A lot of technical jargons and complexities have been left out to avoid derailing from the objective of this article. It should also be noted that the PIB has not been finally passed, but this essay is based on the latest version as at the time of doing this summary. There will surely be changes to the Bill before the final version is passed into law, but the major areas covered in this write-up are not expected to significantly change.


Posted by http://www.nigerianoilgas.com  on December 20th, 2012
By Chidi Orazulike

Following Shell-BP’s 1956 commercial discovery of oil in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, the company converted nearly 15, 000 square miles of its 40, 000 square miles of Oil Prospecting Licenses (OPLs) to Oil Mining Leases (OMLs), returning the residual to the Nigerian government through the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Between 1960 and 1965, four additional foreign companies (Mobil, Chevron, Texaco and Elf) started operations, while the first off-shore licenses in Nigeria were also awarded at that time. During this period, the Multi-National Oil Companies were the sole players as they wholly owned the concessions. The Nigerian state was playing a passive role of mere royalty and tax collector.

The Petroleum Act, 1969 provides that a licensee who has fulfilled the work commitment according to Paragraph 30 (b) and 31 of the regulation, who has also met all the conditions otherwise applicable to that individual license, may request that the license be converted to an OML which can be granted upon confirmation of the potential for economic production of petroleum from the license. The OML grants exclusive rights to explore, win, produce and carry away petroleum from the relevant area. The regulation however, restricts the granting of OMLs to only 50% of the size of the OPL, while the other 50% shall revert to DPR. The specified duration of OML licenses is limited to 20 years.

Incidentally, the initial oil mining leases granted to the operating International Oil Companies (IOCs) were issues under the Oil Mineral Act of 1958. The Act provided for a lease period of 40 years as against the 20 years provided for by the 1969 Petroleum Act. Hence, almost all stakeholders, particularly the government agree that even the later Act, which was enacted 43 years ago, does not conform to the present global realities of the oil and gas industry.

It was therefore not surprising that at the time of the expiration of the oil mining leases, the federal government under President Jonathan balked at renewing them under the same exploitative terms terms that they had been granted to the multinationals over 40 years ago by Gowan’s military government. The government felt that for the leases to be renewed, it should be done under revised terms that would compel the international oil companies to pay certain statutory fees. This meant that oil leases could only be renewed after the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which would usher in new fiscal terms. However, the oil majors eagerly lobbied to get renewal discussions over and to sign new deals before the passage of the PIB which would change the scope of new oil-related joint ventures, increase tax and royalty rates paid by foreign companies.

When the leases were originally granted to the international oil companies in the 1960s, they were done at no cost whatsoever. In 2008 however, the oil licensing regime introduced a tender process by which bidders are required to pay a signature bonus before the award of oil leases. Hence, the government insisted that for the expired leases to be renewed, the IOCs are obligated to operate on the basis of the new lease regime. And in an effort to facilitate a smooth transition to the new oil licensing regime, the government granted a one-year extension on all the expired leases, pending negotiations for extended renewals for 20 years.

With the new development, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) expressed disagreement with the new lease regime and headed to court, challenging the decision of the federal government. Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) on the other hand opted to enter into negotiations with the government.

In March 2009, a committee comprising five members from both the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was inaugurated by the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Odein Ajumogobia with a mandate to evaluate the oil leases held by Mobil (OMLs 67, 68 and 70) and Chevron (OMLs 88, 89, 90 and 95). Using the discounted cash flow method for valuation, the committee set out to establish the current and future economic value of the oil mining leases as a basis for their renewal in order to extract maximum value for the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Shell, which was seeking to renew five of its Oil Mining Leases (OMLs 71, 72, 74, 77 and 79), was left out of the committee’s terms of reference because it was in court, challenging the rights of the Federal Government to renew its leases under new terms. However, the company has since withdrawn the suit.

The committee established that the oil blocks, especially Mobil’s (67, 68 and 70) are the most prolific portfolio of hydrocarbon assets off shore the Niger Delta and termed them the “Crown Jewels”. The three blocks were established to still hold significant leftover 2P (probable reserves) of oil and associated/non associated gas, despite 40 years of production, with significant resources still unproduced.

Based on the committee’s evaluation, it arrived at a reserve value of $2.55 billion for Mobil’s 2p oil and gas reserve in the three OMLs and a value of $1.5 billion for those of Chevron. However, due to the Joint Venture Contract between Mobil and NNPC in which the oil multinational has a 40 per cent stake, the company was expected to pay $1.020 billion in proportion to its interest in the blocks while the NNPC’s share of the fund was $1.530 billion.

On 24th March 2009, the committee invited Mobil for the first of several meetings on negotiations for its blocks. Citing the First Schedule, Section 35 of the Petroleum Act, which empowers the Minister of Petroleum to impose on a license or lease, special terms and conditions not inconsistent with the Act, the committee advised the Mobil team of the $2.55 billion valuation for its leases and requested the US oil giant to pay its share of the amount as a basis for their renewal for 20 years. The company declined to pay but wrote to the Minister of Petroleum 5 months later vide a letter dated August 25, 2009 in which it proposed a conditional offer of $75 million for the three leases for 25 years.

The company’s offer was rejected by the committee after consultations with Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, the then Minister for Petroleum Resources and Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, the then Special Adviser on Petroleum Matters to Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Months later, Mobil reportedly approached Odein Ajumogobia, the junior minister, and after series of meetings, the valuation for the leases was revised downwards to $1.5 billion by which calculation Mobil was therefore required to pay $600 million in proportion to its 40 per cent interest in the oil blocks while NNPC was expected to pay $900 million.

Coincidentally, this happened shortly after Late President Yar’Adua had delineated the responsibilities of the petroleum ministry and assigned the responsibility of overseeing all acreage allocation licenses, lease awards, renewals and assignment to Ajumogobia, the junior minister.

Apparently satisfied that it had secured a better deal, Mobil agreed to the revised terms for its leases, and a contract was drawn up for execution by the relevant parties. Ajumogobia, signed for and on behalf of the Nigerian government while Mark Ward, Managing Director/Chairman of MPNU signed for and on behalf of ExxonMobil Corporation.

Not entirely unexpectedly, the renewed lease agreement for the US oil giant became enmeshed in controversy and was later annulled. Trouble began when the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, revoked the leases on the premise that due diligence was not followed. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke had informed ExxonMobil on May 4, 2011, that it had lost all rights on the three blocks, which pump 580,000 bpd of crude oil and 950 MMCFD of gas, form a crucial production centre for ExxonMobil and supply the Qua Iboe terminal.

The Minister had informed the oil giant that the company’s leases which were renewed in November 2009 had been invalidated by the ministry in view of the addendum used for the renewal which showed that they had been executed in the first instance on March 11, 1971 and not December 1, 1968. She therefore informed the oil multinational that the leases remained valid till March 10, 2011, and as such “were not subject to renewal” on November 25, 2009, when the former Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, executed the contract for their renewal.

Some industry insiders believe that Mobil intentionally sought to make the leases retroactive from December 1, 1968 even though they were executed on March 11, 1971, in order to take advantage of the Mineral Oil Act of 1958, which provided for lease terms of 40 years, as opposed to the Petroleum Act of 1969, which provides for terms of only 20 years.

Others however, believe that the problem with the Mobile leases was that they were first renewed in 1968 before the enactment of the Petroleum Act of 1969 because they were originally granted for 7 years in 1961 under the Mineral Oil Act, 1958, which was the law in force at the time. When the lease expired in 1968, Mobil got them renewed for 40 years under the same Act that was still in force, but the deeds for the leases were not signed by the then Commissioner of Petroleum Resources until March 11, 1971.

The above notwithstanding, some stakeholders believe that the contract for the renewal of Mobil’s leases covering a duration of 20 years should be considered illegal because the document was not signed by the former substantive Minister Of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman. They contend that since the only person statutorily mandated by the Petroleum Act of 1969 to grant, supervise, and by extension renew oil leases, on behalf of the federal government is the Minister of Petroleum, and not a junior minister in the ministry, the signing of the contractual document by any other person renders it null and void.

With reference to the ruling by a Federal High Court in Abuja last August following an instance when Ajumogobia on the instructions of the Late President Yar’Adua cancelled two oil blocks awarded to the Korean National Oil Company (KNOC), they contend that a legal precedent has already been established. The judge, Justice Mustapha Abdullahi, reversed the cancellation on the grounds that the President acted ultra vires through the Minister of State. Justice Abdullahi, in that ruling, held that the President had no power to void the allocation of the blocks belonging to KNOC in the manner it was done. He ruled that though the President has the power to revoke such licenses by virtue of Section 5 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, Section 2 of the Petroleum Act confers the power to revoke oil prospecting licenses on the Minister of Petroleum, and not the junior minister.

In the Mobil lease renewal, in place of Dr. Lukeman who was the substantive minister, the document was reportedly signed by Ajumogobia, the junior minister, and Director Legal Services, Mrs. Grace E. O. Taiga, for and on behalf of the Nigerian government. Ajumogobia had reportedly argued that the said judgment was on appeal and therefore could not be taken as being final. However, not a few stakeholders dismissed his position on the grounds that until an appellate court rules otherwise, it is the judgment of the lower court that subsists and which must be adhered to.

The stalemate lasted till February, when the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Madueke signed the lease renewal agreement for Mobil. Speaking during the lease signing ceremony in Abuja, the minister reportedly said, “I am particularly delighted to welcome you all as we formally renew shallow onshore oil mining leases 67, 68 and 70 for the NNPC, Mobil Producing Nigeria joint venture. I am delighted that after a somewhat lengthy process both parties that is, the government and people of Nigeria and the NNPC/MPN joint venture have arrived at what they consider a mutually fair agreement in which to work together for another 20 years.”

She pointed out that the renewal of leases was in accordance with paragraph 10 and 13 of the first schedule of the Petroleum Act of 1969 cap V 10, adding that that all other pending renewal leases would be expeditiously handled.

There were concerns that the provisions of the PIB which is still awaiting passage could invalidate the renewed licenses, but the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Austen Oniwon, told investors at the 2012 Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja that there would be no conflict. According to him, business continuity would not wait until the passage of the bill. He assured foreign and local investors that the ongoing renewal of the licenses would fit into the bill, when passed.

However, most Nigerians are yet to know the conditions under which the leases, including those of Shell and Chevron were renewed. Activist lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana has written to the Minister of Petroleum Resources demanding for information on the renewal of Mobil’s OMLs. In the letter dated March 2, 2012, he pointed out that Nigerians deserve to know the terms of the renewal for the sake of transparency and probity in the management of their resources, “More so, that a Chinese company had offered to pay the difference of $4.85 billion for 30% equity interest in the NNPC-Mobil Joint Venture.” He expressed hoped that the request for information would be granted “in line with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.”

As at press time, OGP is not aware of any reply to that request by Mr. Falana. Even similar requests for information from the NNPC by this publication have been met with official brick wall, as the corporation claims it is not part of the public institutions covered by the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

In any event, Nigerians are hoping that whatever the details of the lease renewal are, the honourable minister must have put the national interest before any other consideration. It is hoped that the minister realizes that some of these IOCs can boast of more oil reserves than Nigeria. ExxonMobil for instance, is the largest public traded company in the world with estimated reserves of 72 billion barrels of oil equivalent, doubling Nigeria’s current total proven oil reserves. The company, therefore, makes more money than Nigeria annually.

Those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the nation’s interest, including the National Assembly, must be alive to that responsibility at all times, particularly as some Nigerians are pointing fingers at the IOCs for the stillbirth that has become of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The light of the Freedom of Information Act must be shown into the darkness of unnecessary secrecy shrouding even official information that does not threaten national security. This is one of the most potent means to curb speculations and convince Nigerians that their government is indeed working to protect their best interest.




Article culled from: http://www.punchng.com March 7, 2013 by Oluwole Josiah, Abuja
AMID a raging debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Business and Rules, Senator Ita Enang, on Wednesday, said that 83 per cent of oil blocks in the country are owned by Northerners.

“There should be equity and federal character in the allocation of oil blocks in this country. Eighty-three per cent of all present oil blocks are held by northerners,” Enang said on the floor of the Senate, without any of the senior lawmakers contradicting him.

Enang, representing Akwa Ibom North-East (Uyo) Senatorial District, therefore demanded a review of oil block licences in the country even as other senators from the South urged him on.

Enang’s disclosures came a day after the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill had split the senators along North-South lines. The senators held a rowdy session as those from the north stoutly opposed the provision of 10 per cent Host Community Fund in the bill tactically slotted in by President Jonathan to directly and financially empower all the oil producing communities.

The provision requires operating companies in the Niger Delta, home to Nigeria’s vast oil resource, to pay 10 per cent of their net profits to the fund for the development of the communities.

Strengthening his submission, Senator Enang gave a summary of major oil blocks vis-a-vis their ownership.

Enang said Cavendish Petroleum, the operators of OML 110, awarded to Alhaji Mai Deribe of Borno State (North East), makes an average of about N4bn monthly.

He said, “Seplat/Platform Petroleum, operators of the ASUOKPU/UMUTU marginal field has Prince Sanusi Lamido (not CBN Governor) as a major shareholder and Director.

“South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO), was established by Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, who is also the Chairman of ENI Nigeria Limited. SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Limited to become operators of the very lucrative high yield OPL 246.

“AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company is owned by Alhaji (Colonel) Sani Bello of Kotangora, Niger State. They are operators of OML 112 and OML 117.

“A former Petroleum minister and former OPEC chairman, Rilwanu Lukman, another northerner, manages AMNI oil blocks and with very key interests in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal.

“Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Indimi, runs three oil blocks: OML 15, the Okwok field and the Ebok field.

“Alhaji Aminu Dantata’s Express Petroleum and Gas Limited operates OML 108.

“OML 113 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited is owned by Alhaji. W.I. Folawiyo.

“OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor, which was sold by Starcrest to Addax Petroleum. Emeka Offor still has a stake in Addax operations in Nigeria.

“Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria with six oil blocks undeniably owned by former military head of state Ibrahim Babangida;

“Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo’s North East Petroleum Limited is the holder of the OPL 215 licence. NOREASTER Petroleum was awarded blocks OPL 276 and OPL 283 and closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and Chinese CCC Oil and Gas.

“INTEL is owned by (Abubakar) Atiku, Yar’Adua and Ado Bayero (Emir of Kano family) and has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry, both in Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.

“OPL 245 was awarded to Malabu Oil& Gas Company by Sanni Abacha. Dan Etete, Abacha’s oil minister owns Malabu Oil. In 2000, Vice President Atiku Abubakar convinced Obasanjo to revoke OPL 245 given to Malabu Oil. Etete had earlier rejected Atiku’s demand for substantial stakes in the high yield OPL 245 and it attracted the venom of Ota Majesty who revoked the licence. However, in 2006, Obasanjo had mercy on Dan Etete and gave him back his oil block worth over $20 billion dollars.”
“These need to be looked into, revoked and re-awarded. The Federal Character which is a principle applicable in every aspect of our national existence should also be brought to bear in the application of our oil blocks, marginal fields and prospecting licences.”

Enang’s disclosures came amid a consensus among the lawmakers on the need to let the bill sail through second reading, while further legislative work would take care of the contentious issues.

Enang, who spoke in support of the PIB, also argued for the retention of the 10 per cent host community fund, adding that it did not amount to an additional derivation.

Speaking also in favour of the bill, Senator Chris Anyanwu (Imo East) said the bill would address the issue of criminality in the sector.

She said, “The element I like most in the bill is the host community fund because it removes the motive for crime. It gives them a sense of belonging and ownership. Until the PIB is ready and people know that their investment is safe, they will not come to Nigeria.”

Senator Ayogu Eze from Enugu North also urged his colleagues to support the bill so as allow for the fine-tuning of other controversial areas.

Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South) argued that Section 191 of the bill gave too much powers to the President, which must be curtailed.

Norther senators whose earlier position was outright rejection of the bill have moved to give the bill a chance.

Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) captured the new mood when he said, “I was one of the people completely opposed to the bill but from the trend of the debate it looked like the Senate is ready to do a thorough job without fear or favour. For this reason, I will join others in asking that this bill be considered while the contentious positions are addressed.

“It is necessary that the powers of the minister be reduced so that whosoever is the minister is not a super minister.”

In spite of this, Deputy Leader, Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central); Senators Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West); Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna North); and Nurudeen Abatemi (Kogi Central) raised concerns on the provisions for host communities’ fund.

They also expressed hope that the issue would be properly thrashed at the critical stages of the bill.
The debate on the general principles of the bill would be concluded on Thursday (today).
The Federal Government is enmeshed in court cases in the U.S. and UK over a curious $1.1bn (about N155 billion) payment made to a company belonging to former oil minister, Dan Etete.

Four years after he was convicted of money laundering in France, Dan Etete, a former Petroleum Minister, through his company Malabu Oil, has become a billion dollar richer, courtesy of the Nigerian Government and Shell.

According to documents (filed March 22, 2012) before the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the US, President Goodluck Jonathan discreetly approved the transfer of the sum of $1.1bn to Mr. Etete on April 29, 2011, two weeks after he was re-elected.

The money was first paid to the Federal Government by two multinational oil companies: Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited (Agip) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (Shell) in respect of oil block OPL 245.

But shortly after the funds were credited to the Federal Government’s account, Mr. Jonathan ordered that it should be secretly transferred to a London account of Mr. Etete’s company, Malabu Oil.

It is not clear what deal Mr. Jonathan struck with Malabu, and on what basis the payment was made. President Jonathan’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati did not answer or return calls seeking his comment for this story. He also did not respond to a text message sent to him for the same purpose.

The government made the payment to Mr. Etete’s company even when it had repeatedly insisted that the award of the oil block to Malabu was done in violation of laid down procedures.

Shell insisted it had no knowledge that the government passed the funds to Mr. Etete’s company.

OPL 245: History
While serving as Petroleum Minister under late Head of State, Sani Abacha, Mr. Etete awarded his own company, Malabu, an oil block, OPL 245 in 1998.

The allocation was however reversed by the Federal Government under President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2001 when the FG described the allocation process as dubious. The block was allocated to Shell in 2002.

Following the revocation, a prolonged legal battle ensued with Malabu taking the Federal Government to court. In 2006, the Federal Government reversed itself and re-allocated the oil block to Malabu. This angered Shell which then filed arbitration proceedings in Washington.

Following the protracted legal battles, an agreement was reached between all parties.

The agreement
In an agreement titled “Block 245, Malabu resolution agreement” dated April 29, 2011 between Malabu and the Federal Government, the FG agreed to pay Malabu $1,092,040,000 in “full and final settlement of all its claims, interests or rights relating to OPL245.” The agreement also stated that the rights to the oil block would be reallocated to Agip and Shell.

In a separate agreement between Shell and Nigeria, titled “Block 245 resolution agreement,” the two multinationals (Agip and Shell) agreed to Pay the same sum “for the purposes of FGN settling all and any existing claims and/or issues over Block 245…”

In other words, the multinational oil firms agreed to pay $1.1bn to the FGN with the knowledge that the money would be used to settle any existing claims that existed by any other party to the oil block.
We didn’t pay to Etete

Despite knowing that the money was to be paid as settlement to a third party and knowing that Malabu was the only company with bragging rights over the oil block, Shell claims it did not know the money was to be paid to Mr. Etete’s Malabu.

“Shell was not aware that that money was to be paid to Malabu,” said Precious Okolobo, a communications officer with the oil company in a telephone interview.

Mr. Okolobo confirmed in a follow-up email that the “the Federal Government of Nigeria has allocated the deepwater offshore block OPL 245 jointly to Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo),” and that “each now holds 50 percent in OPL 245, with NAE as operator of the block.”

“Any payments relating to the issuance of the license were made only to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the Shell official said saying “in line with Shell’s information policy, we cannot reveal commercially sensitive information, and hence cannot comment further on the papers filed in the New York court proceedings.”

The American court case
Mr. Etete ‘s company is being sued in the United States for alleged refusal to honour an agreement with ILC, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. The company claims it helped negotiate the agreement Malabu had with the FG and was thus entitled to payment under “an engagement letter and fee agreement” it signed with Malabu on January 19, 2010.

“ILC contends that it fully performed its obligations under the fee agreement entitling it to a 6 per cent success fee amounting to $65,522,400 and that Malabu has indicated that it will not pay this amount,” the company told the court.

Another company allegedly owed by Malabu over OPL 245 had also sued the company in the UK which led to a court freeze of some accounts linked to the company and also to Nigeria.

The Federal Government, through the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke had objected to the freezing of its account in a letter dated July 16, 2011 to the court saying “the FGN does not submit to the jurisdiction of the English courts and that this letter is sent only to claim immunity.

A history of corruption
Mr. Etete, who served as minister between 1995 and 1998, was convicted of money laundering in France in 2007. He was sentenced to three years in prison and given a fined $300,000. He was also asked to pay $150,000 to the Nigerian Government.

The former Minister appealed the ruling. In March 2009 however, a French appeal court confirmed the money laundering charges against Mr. Etete, and fined him $10.5 million after conviction.

Apart from money laundering and his controversial in oil block dealings, Mr. Etete is also believed to be a major beneficiary of the Halliburton bribe where $180 million dollars was paid as bribe to senior government officials by a consortium including a subsidiary of an American company, Halliburton.

Mr. Etete was an ally and business associate of Jeffery Tesler, the British middleman who coordinated the bribe scheme and who was recently convicted in the United States for his role in the bribe payment.

Neither Mr. Etete nor any other Nigerian has been convicted for the collection of the bribes; though the companies that made the payment and the middlemen have all been convicted or indicted in the United States and other host countries.



Article culled from: http://www.naijapundit.com
Written by Alaba Johnson via National Mirror on 09 March 2013.

How former Presidents, ministers awarded oil blocks without guidelines

It is no longer news that 83 per cent of the nation’s oil blocks are in the hands of Northerners and that they were awarded without any clear guidelines. The news is that efforts are being made to prevent a recurrence through the instrumentality of the Petroleum Industry Bill. UDEME AKPAN reports.

When President Goodluck Jonathan sent the nation’s new Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB to the National Assembly last July, he did not envisaged much controversy and delay for some reasons.

First, the former PIB had passed through many stages without much ado before lawmakers abandoned it. Second, Jonathan seemed to have based the activities on the petroleum industry when he stated in the 2013 budget speech that much would be done to boost investment.

Third, many stakeholders were familiar with the various issues as well as the relevance and the urgency for early passage.

Moreover, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke who expressed optimism for the early passage had stated that: “We have had to review it in great detail and rework the bill to reflect as much as possible the entire spectrum of what we considered will be the substantial strategic framework for the petroleum industry and the amalgamation of over 16 laws in the oil and gas sector, that will carry this sector for years to come.”

Unfortunately, this was not to be. The PIB has probably generated much controversy than any other single bill in the contemporary history of law making in Nigeria.

The important bill went through preliminary stages with minor opposition. The disagreement however reached its climax a few weeks ago when some northern legislators came out to state that they would not support the PIB as it was packaged to enhance the cause of the Niger Delta.

Prior to that, the Northern governors had established a committee to advise them on the contents of the bill. Specifically, the Ahmed Mansur-led committee was tasked to study, identify and advice them with implications of the PIB for the northern states.

Specifically, the committee reported that: “on top of the 13.5 per cent statutory derivation from the Federation Account, the mandatory Federal allocation to the Ministry of Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), levy of three percent of oil operations and the huge amount of federal funds being spent on the Niger Delta Amnesty programme, the new PIB is adding 10 percent of the profit of all oil and gas companies to the Niger Delta states and communities.”

It noted that the PIB did not explicitly recommend the supply of gas to the region who desires to apply it for the socio-economic development. The committee also felt uncomfortable with the proposed establishment of a national oil company, the National Gas Company and the National Petroleum Assets Management Corporation.

Consequently, close watchers of developments at the Senate did not expect a smooth sail for the PIB when the second reading started last Tuesday for some reasons. First, the senators were already divided along two major lines. While some, especially South South legislators were in favour of the PIB; their northern counterparts were completely opposed to the bill because of some factors.

They argued that it was not proper for the PIB to confer excessive powers on the Minister of Petroleum Resources, allocated 10 per cent funds to host communities and failed to provide financial autonomy for the National Frontiers Exploratory Agency vested with the responsibility to carry out oil and gas exploration in the nation.

Reacting, the Niger Delta leaders who felt cheated started to probe into the ownership and control of oil blocks in their region only to uncover that influential northerners control 83 per cent of them. For instance, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang who called for the ABROGATION OF THE OIL BLOCKS ALLOCATION warned that the situation was not acceptable. The questions most people ask asking are: Who are these influential northerners? Which are the oil blocks? What are their values?

A document displayed by Enang identified the northerners to include Alhaji Mai Deribe, General T. Y. Danjuma, Mallam (Prince) Sanusi Lamido, Alhaji (Col.) Sani Bello of Kontangora, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, Alhaji Mohammed Indimi and Alhaji Aminu Dantata.

Enang said that Deribe from Borno State owns Cavendish Petroleum, operator of the OML 110 with average revenue of about N4bn monthly. He said Lamido is majority shareholder and director in Seplat/Platform Petroleum, the operators of the Asuokpu/ Umutu Marginal Field while Danjuma remains the undisputed promoter of South Atlantic Petroleum Limited, SAPETRO, who is also the Chairman of Eni Nigeria Limited.

Available records showed that SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, TUPNI, and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Limited to become the CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 operators of OPL 246. Enang stated that Bello owns AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company, the operators of OML 112 and OML 117. The legislator stated that the former Minister of Petroleum and former Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC Secretary General, Lukman manages AMNI oil blocs and with very key interest in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal. He stated that: “Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Indimi runs three oil blocs: OML 115, the Oldwok field and the Ebok field; Dantata’s Express Petroleum and Gas Limited, operates OML 108, while OML 113 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited is owned by Alhaji Wahab Folawiyo.

Enang stated that: “Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo, the operator of North East Petroleum Limited, is the holder of the OPL 215 licence. The company was awarded the blocs OPL 276 and OPL 283 and closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and CCC Oil and Gas. He stated that INTEL is owned by Atiku, Yar’Adua and Ado Bayero and has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.

Enang remarked that: “Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria with six oil blocs, while OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor, which was sold to Addax Petroleum.” Available records showed that these oil blocks are located onshore (land) and offshore (water) with some billion barrels of reserves that can sustain commercial production for several years.

A source at the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR who preferred not to be named put the value of the OIL BLOCKS AT BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. A source in the Ministry of Petroleum stated that: “This should be expected because most former Presidents or Heads of States intervened in the allocation of the blocks without any clear guidelines.

They just gave the blocks to whosoever they wanted without taking advice from anybody. A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Professor Tam David, in a telephone interview with Saturday Mirror put the blame for the lopsidedness in the allocation of the blocks on former President Ibrahim Babangida. The former minister stated that: “It is very unfortunate for a minister to have an oil block. I did not have an oil block because we played the game according to the rules. I did not even have a filling station. Owning an oil block is like getting a gold mine. It amounts to billions of dollars. It shows the high level of corruption and in-discipline in the leadership of the nation.”

David-West however called on the Federal Government to investigate the development in order to correct the anomaly and injustice. He called also called on stakeholders, especially the National Assembly to draft the PIB in a manner that would be impossible for ministers and Presidents to have such enormous powers in the management of the nation’s oil blocks in future.

This is in line with the position of Niger Delta leaders. For instance, the Ijaw National Congress, INC, tasked President Goodluck Jonathan to REVOKE THE OIL BLOCS.

The President of INC, Chief Joshua Benaimaisia accused the northern governors and others for fuelling the anti-Niger Delta activities in the National Assembly. Benaimaisia stated that: “Another war is in the offing in the Niger Delta if the PIB is not passed as it is. This is total respect for the owners of the resources and we may be forced to ask for total resource control.

As he puts it: “We are demanding Jonathan to revoke all oil blocs in the country. Let them bring all the issues to the table so that we can discuss it. We want a national conference. If the PIB bill fails and derivation is not approved for the oil communities, no more oil exploration will take place in the region until things are done properly.

The Prof. Pat Utomi-led United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy, UNDEDSS, also demanded that the Federal Government scrap ownership of all oil blocks in Nigeria.

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, UNDEDSS, through its Secretary-General, Mr. Tony Uranta, said that government should scrap ownership of all oil blocs and begin at zero point to re-allocate them in the spirit of fairness and equity.

The new PIB was consequently committed to the Joint Committee on Petroleum (Downstream and Upstream, Gas and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal for further legislative work. The committee has six weeks to conclude public hearing and report to the entire Senate. The Senate President, Senator David Mark seemed to be impressed has appealed to his colleagues to be guided by their sense of patriotism than any other considerations.


Article culled from: http://www.vanguardngr.com
Posted March 19, 2013 /  8:25 am

As the controversies generated over which region controlled more of Nigeria’s oil assets intensify, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has said that such controversies are baseless considering that oil blocks are awarded based on bids offered for them globally.

Against this backdrop, the industry regulator noted that when such bid rounds are being conducted, the region of the bidders is not one of the prequalification for winning such oil blocks.

The Director, DPR, Mr. Osten Olorunshola, who made the clarification last week in Lagos, said, “The Federal Government does not allocate oil blocks and marginal fields to individuals and corporations based on region or where they come from. So, DPR does not ask if an individual is from the North or South when allocating the fields.”

Ownership controversies

Pressed further, on which region owned more of Nigeria’s oil assets, Olorunshola, who spoke at the launch of the Nigeria Oil and Gas, NOG Intelligence, a weekly print and online industry newsletter, insisted that “The DPR has no records of 83 per cent Northern ownership of oil blocks anywhere.”

According to him, Nigerians currently own 52 per cent of the country’s 173 active oil blocs, while foreign oil companies own 48 per cent.

He added that of the total of 388 oil blocks in the country, only 173 of them have been awarded to individuals and corporations, while 215 blocks were yet to be awarded.

Broken further, of the 173 so far awarded, Nigerians owned 90 blocks while foreigners owned 83 blocks.

He, however, lamented that all the 90 blocks awarded to indigenous players account for only six per cent of the country’s total crude oil production, while the 83 awarded to foreign oil companies account for 94 per cent of the total output.

Stirring the hornets’ nest

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Business and Rules, Senator Ita Enang, a forth night ago steered the hornets’ nest, when he alleged that 83 percent of Nigeria’s oil blocks were in the control of the northern region.

This led to a series of claims and counter claims by various groups in the different geographical regions in the country, including activists and non-governmental organisations, NGOs. Many even called for a review of oil block awards. Even newspapers (not Vanguard) went agog with their own versions of the real oil block owners.

However, DPR’s recent pronouncements on the issue that Nigerians own 80 oil bocks where foreigners had 83 have nullified every other previous pronouncements on the controversial oil blocks ownership, including the list of 77 oil blocks and their owners recently published by one of the dailies.

Analysts are of the view that to end the controversy, the DPR should go a step further to publish the full list of the 173 oil blocks so far awarded, indicating who owned what, whether local or foreign.

Poor indigenous output contribution

Notwithstanding the fact that Nigerians owned the larger share of the nation’s oil assets, their contributions to total production as revealed by the DPR is abysmally poor.

According to data provided by the regulator, Nigerians are producing about 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day, representing six per cent of the Nigeria’s total crude production; while foreign oil companies account for the bulk of 2.35 million bpd or 94 per cent of total output.

He blamed this on the lackadaisical attitude of the Nigerian players towards the development of their blocks. He said that majority of them have not commenced any serious production activities on the oil blocks since they were awarded to them.

He said, “It appears that people just want to own oil blocks and put it on their complimentary cards. We are not happy with that. It is absurd that six per cent of oil production is coming out of 90 leases.

“Government decided to dig deeper as it was not so happy with the performance of the indigenous oil companies. That is the reason why government put in place the Marginal Fields policy,” he noted.

He disclosed that about 24 marginal fields were allocated in 2003, and only six fields are doing well, while the rest have refused to develop theirs, adding that many are faced with litigations, funding constraints, non-bankable proposals, and a host of others issues.

He said, “The major issue that negatively affected the production capacity of majority of the marginal field owners is the fact that the owners could not access funds. As at 2003, when the fields were awarded, Nigerian banks where in difficult situation, making it impossible for majority of them to give out loans.

“Also, another challenge that served as a drawback to the marginal fields programme is the unending litigations by most of the parties the fields were awarded to. The bid rounds brought a lot of litigations, due to the fact that the parties were technically asked to merge before the fields will be awarded to them. Till today, majority of them are still in court and are yet to kick start the process of production on their fields.”

The active and producing marginal fields are:

· Asuokpu/Umutu field owned by Platform Petroleum
· Ibigwe field by Walter Smith and Morris Petroleum
· Uquo field by Frontier Oil
· Ajapa field – Britania-U
· Umusadege field by Midwestern Oil and Gas, and Suntrust
· Obodogwa/Obodeti field by Pillar Oil

Olorunshola further stated that of the five marginal fields that were awarded on a DISCRETIONARY BASIS, only Oriental Energy owners of two of the fields – Okwok and Ebok fields; and Niger Delta Petroleum Development Company, owner of Ogbelle field are involved in active production.

He, however, maintained that over the last couple of months, the Marginal Fields programme is gradually living up to expectation, as production is now up to 60 thousand barrels per day in addition to about 100 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) of gas.

Despite the identified challenges, Olorunshola argued that the marginal fields owners are still breaking new grounds, as they integrating value, unlocking stranded molecules, creating opportunity for employment and empowerment.

He further stated that the programme is deploying new technologies, recording unprecedented collaboration and are now handling local communities better than before.

Block revocation, new bid rounds underway

In view of the poor performance, Olorunshola disclosed that the licences for some of the marginal fields will be revoked. In the revocation of the licenses granted to individuals and corporations, emphasis will be placed on fields that are yet to be developed.


(ATTENTION: this is exactly what we THE NIGER DELTA YOUTHS of all the indigenous oil communities want the INTERNATIONAL COURTS to do by forcing the federal government to explicitly revoke all the “expired” oil blocks leased to these “individuals” regardless of who they are and where they come from; as it is in their DISCRETIONAL POWER to do so without having to face any legal consequences or damages claims since there is no contractual agreement that their renewal is automatic and those stinky rich oil bloc owners should be content with the loot they have amassed over the years and let the true owners of the oil bloc have what rightfully belongs to them or face the legitimate and natural consequences that fate always metes out to despotic dictators & tyrants who resolutely refuse to quit and let it go when their “evil game” is up such as the likes of Idi Amin, Samuel Doe, Sani Abacha, Paul Pott, Saddam Hussein & Moammar Gadaffi )

The DPR boss disclosed that the Federal Government is considering undertaking another bid round for the country’s marginal oil fields, irrespective of whether the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, is passed or not.

He explained added that this was with a view to streamlining the bid rounds and reducing the process to about seven months from about one year and above in the past.

According to him, once the advertisement calling for bids is published in the newspapers, the DPR is targeting 90 days for people to submit their bids, and 60 days for evaluation of the bids. He argued that the period will enable it to properly assess the bids, while expressing the hope that it will record a significant oversubscription.

He further disclosed that the DPR is striving to ensure that subsequent bidding rounds are conducted every three years (meaning that these Oil Blocs are renewed every four years or there abouts), while making sure that the reserves volume are bankable and the bid rounds are made simpler and transparent.




Think YOruba HAusa IGbo
Oil Blocks, Northern Cabals, & Boko Haram
Article Culled from: http://www.yohaig.com Posted May 26, 2014 8:46 pm

It’s very clear that President Jonathan will never never lease it back to the northern cabals again and this is the reason for all the book haram terrorism attacks / bombings in the north and all the northern political & religious leaders ganging up together with their Yoruba collaborators to oust Jonathan from office so another northerner will come and restore their old order of “North Must Rule” for them so that can continue plundering and pillaging our oil wealth that has now made them to be the richest “Black Man” in the world such as the Babangidas, Abachas, Dangotes, Danjumas, Bayeros, Lukmans & co.
Nigerian be wise, be wise, be wise,
Until the Nigeria oil blocks are recovered from the northern cabals, Nigeria will know no peace and the North will always be pushing to produce the president to solidify their grips of these looted Niger Delter treasury.


The bastardizing of Nigeria by the mindless, who hate the nation. Monumental injustice to a people: they constitute the top 20 Owners Of Richest Oil Blocks in Nigeria without the people of Niger Delta on whose soil the oil was found. They constitute the main opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan today.



It is evidently clear from this insightful reportage from various online sources (google it out yourselves too) that indeed for the past six years when President Jonathan assumed power he has been in his own quiet way championing the cause of the niger Delta oil communities by bluntly refusing to sign away the oil wealth of his indigenous Niger Delta people to the shell oil company and its cronies as the northerner Gowan had done.

Thereby using the PIB (which stipulates that 10% of all oil revenues MUST be disbursed directly to all the oil producing communities for their wealth empowerment and the development of their oil polluted lands which the northern dominated national assembly resolutely refuses to pass all these years primarily because they oppose any increment of funds from the federal account for the people of Niger Delta who owns the oil just as they did during the National Confab convened by Jonathan last year) as a baton to stave off the renewal of these oil leases both for the internal oil companies and their northern collaborators who own 90% of the onshore oil blocs unduly and illegally allocated to them by the arbitrary military regimes dominated by the same northerners.

No passing of PIB…No renewal of oil leases!!!

I think that is fair enough. Hence the stalemate and the reason why all these northerners have ganged up with one accord to forcefully remove him from office in 2015 by any means necessary be it democratic or not so as to pave way for them to once again sign away our god given wealth to shell & co for another forty years of general bondage. 

God Forbid! Not on our watch!!!

We are the children of freedom and not the children of bondage like our fathers who submitted their neck to this bondage that we their children have suffered for too long. Therefore we will resist and checkmate this last desperate move of these northern usurpers until we reclaim and repossess every last drop of oil in our ancestral land by every means necessary starting from our campaign and litigation for our:

@ The International Human Rights Courts of Justice!



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