Senate criticizes the Petroleum Commission for revoking a license in Atala OML 46

The Senate voiced its displeasure at the NUPRC’s Thursday decision to revoke the license for the Atala Marginal Oil Field, OML 46, during the legislative discussion of the report the committee on ethics, privileges, and public petitions had forwarded to it.

As a result, the Senate directed the Commission to follow the Presidency’s earlier directive and return the oil field to its original owners.

The Senate’s resolutions followed suggestions made in that direction by its Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions.

According to the Senate’s mandate, the committee headed by Senator Ayo Akinyelure looked into petitions sent 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) accusing NUPRC of revocation of the Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) and reawarding it to Halkin Exploration and Production Limited in violation of the law.

According to the petition, it was against the law and a presidential direction that Halkins was given the oil field.

The committee recommended to the Senate that the oil field be returned to its original owners, Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited, Bayelsa Oil Company Limited, and Century Exploration and Production Limited, following months of communication with all parties involved in it.

The Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) revocation was based on false information provided by Halkin Exploration and Production Limited, and NUPRC was unable to provide written proof that President Muhammadu Buhari actually reversed his initial directive on considering the owners/operators of Atala Marginal Field for re-award as claimed by NUPRC, the committee strongly recommends that.

The President’s command, which was followed, was that the Nine Marginal Fields be returned to their original owners/operators.

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 the licence for its exploration, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered NUPRC to reallocate the oil fields to the original owners in October 2022 prior to the Senate’s resolutions.

According to the petition and Halkin Exploration and Production Limited’s listing in the CAC’s records, the firm was officially incorporated on September 9, 2019.

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