By Emma Amaize
WARRI— OIL and gas producing communities in Isoko ethnic nationality, Delta State, have disputed the divestment of OML 26 and 30 by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited and Shoreline Natural Resources Limited, respectively, in 2010 and 2012, saying that it was done in breach of extant provisions of the Petroleum Act.
In a petition to the Senate President, David Mark, Isoko Leaders of Thought, led by Major-General Paul Omu (rtd), alleged that the assets and prospects of both OMLs were grossly undervalued.
According to the leaders, OML 26, located about 63km North-East of Warri, covering an area of about 485sq/km was credited with an average production capacity of 5,500/bpd by Shell before divestment, but less than a month after, the production was put at 12,000/bpd.
In the case of OML 30, located onshore in Delta State, approximately 45km East of Warri, covering an area of about 1,095sq/km, which lease include eight producing fields, associated infrastructure, and ownership and operation of a segment of the Trans-Forcados pipeline, they said the NPDC estimated its production at 45,000/bpd, but the average production presently was 200,000/bpd.
The oil and gas communities urged the National Assembly to urgently investigate their complaints and reverse the divestment exercise carried out in the OMLs in question and “bring to book all those found culpable, either by their acts of commission or omission.”
They asked the National Assembly to order the assignors and the assignees to “commence immediate negotiations with the affected communities through their recognised or accredited representatives.”
They also asked the Minister of Petroleum to ensure that “there is total compliance with the relevant provisions of Act and its Regulations by the assignors, the assignees and the relevant government agency.”