AN indigenous oil and gas consulting company, Peto-Gas Ltd, has petitioned relevant government agencies and organisations over alleged non-payment of 10 per cent brokerage fee by Trafigura Beheer B.V (Trafigura), the parent company of Puma Energy Ltd (Puma).
In a petition sent to Vanguard, Peto-Gas indicated that it facilitated a $41 million Bitumen Joint Venture deal between Puma and Wabeco Petroleum Limited (Wabeco) on terms and understanding that Peto-Gas would be entitled to 10 per cent industry standard Brokerage Fee.
It stated that after the transaction was successfully consummated, Puma failed to honour its obligation. The indigenous company disclosed that after writing to the Senate Committee on Downstream Petroleum, where nothing was achieved, it also appealed to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria (HAGF) to seek redress.
It stated that in consequence of this, a mediation meeting was held on July 7, 2017 at the instance of HAGF, the meeting presided by the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice (SGF/PS) in the person of Mr. Taiwo Abidogun, Esq., and was duly attended by Peto-Gas and its counsel (Bode Olanipekun, Esq. of Wole Olanipekun & Co.), Mr. Victor Umar, Company Secretary of Puma and its Counsel, and the Director and Deputy Director of the Citizens’ Rights Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The company disclosed that at the said meeting, after listening to both parties, the SGF/PS and his team highlighted the numerous inconsistencies in the case presented by Puma and further advised the Puma team to consider settling the matter amicably. It stated that in response, Victor Umar agreed that Puma would pay Peto-Gas an amount to be communicated no later than July 17, 2017 with a caveat that the payment may be less than the 10per cent being demanded by Peto-Gas.
The company indicated that: “Victor Umar specifically sought Peto-Gas’ approval in principle that Peto-Gas was willing to reduce its demand and Peto-Gas responded in the positive. “Typical of Puma, by a letter dated July 17, 2017 to the HAGF, Puma reneged on the agreement and stated that the management of Puma Energy has carefully reviewed the aforesaid suggestions, and is unable to find basis to make any settlement offer of any kind to Peto-Gas.”
However, Trafigura stated in an email to Vanguard that, “Puma Energy is aware of the allegations reported in the media by Peto-Gas Limited and we dismiss them on the grounds that they are completely baseless. All legal avenues are being explored and as a result we cannot comment further.”