Abiola, Dantata Others lose oil licences

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has revoked five Oil Mining Licences (OML) and one Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) belonging to five companies.

The regulatory body, in a public notice on Thursday, announced the revocation was based on a presidential directive to “recover legacy debts” owed by the companies operating the licences.

The five companies affected are: Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (OML 98) owned by businessman Dr. Festus Fadeyi; Allied Energy Resources Nigeria (OML 120 and 121) owned by Nigerian-born United States-bade International oil tycoon; Express Petroleum and Gas Company (OML 108) owned by Northern aristocrat, Aminu Dantatay; Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria (OML 110) owned by Borno-born billionaire Alhaji Zanna Mai Deribe and Summit Oil International (OPL 206) owned by the family of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola but presently run by his eldest son, Kola Abiola.

The immediate former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had last February announced plans to recover the oil licenses of the companies indebted to it.

He expressed worry that some of the companies have failed to make statutory remittances in spite of being in Joint Operatorship (JV) with the Federal Government, a development he said was denying it revenue running into billions of dollars.

Summit Oil under Kola Abiola has been gasping for breath for so long due to choking debts.

Last year, the company was slapped with a winding-up petition over its alleged inability to fulfill its contractual obligation.

The company was dragged before a Federal High Court in Lagos by Seistech Energy Company who are demanding the winding up of Summit Oil on grounds of the latter’s alleged insolvency.

P.M.EXPRESS gathered that operations at the controversial OPL 206 has been left inactive until a subsidiary of Oando Plc came to the rescue for a while.

On the part of Pan Ocean Oil, the founder, Dr. Fadeyi has been in an age long legal battle with the family of the late Dr. Vittorio Lecca Ducagini Fabbri, the founder of Interocean Oil Exploration Company over the ownership of Pan Ocean Oil among other myriads of financial challenges.

Pan Ocean Oil had expressed hopes to commence the production of oil and gas from OML-147 at Owa Aladima.

OML 147 is one of the northern most development in the Niger Delta, and also the first to be on production among the 2007 bid rounds.

The firm’s three projects billed to be ready for unveiling at the technical start-up taking place June 10, is expected to contribute significantly to Nigerian industrialisation and economic growth, on the highway one part and empowerment of the host and impacted communities.

The murky oil dealings of Nigeria’s military and political elite have led to a handful of oil barons controlling billions of naira worth of oil assets, while many states battle with revenue shortfalls amidst a lot of challenges.

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