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Investigation: Sahara Energy, Dantata, Summit Oil, Lulu Briggs, Emeka Offor, Others Own 49 Expired Oil Block Licences



Sahara Energy

Nigerian billionaires, international oil companies and other operators have been identified as owners of the 49 oil block  licences some of which expired since 2010.

Our correspondent gathered that nine Oil Mining Leases (six of which are currently producing) and 40 Oil Prospecting Licences, many of which were awarded during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, had expired.

OPL 204, owned by Africoil & Marketing Company Limited, expired in 2010, and OPLs 236 while 244 operated by Mr. Wale Tinubu’s Oando Plc and Nigeria Agip Exploration respectively expired in 2011.

Similarly, OPL 320, operated by billionaire Prince Arthur Eze’s Oranto Petroleum Limited, expired in 2012. The Department of Petroleum Resources said the owners applied for extension to compensate for the time lost to militancy and insecurity in the Niger Delta, and the request had been forwarded to the minister.

The process of renewing OMLs 108 and 109, which expired in 2015 and 2016 respectively, was said to be ongoing. The two oil blocks are being operated by Alhaji Aminu Dantata’s Express Petroleum & Gas Company Limited and Atlas Petroleum Nigeria Limited, another company owned by Eze, respectively.

Findings also revealed that OPL 227, operated by Express Petroleum & Gas Company/Petroleum Prospects International Limited, expired in 2015 after it was granted a two-year extension in 2013. The technical partner, Addax Petroleum, has pulled out, and the other partners have applied for another two-year extension.

OPL 289, owned by Cleanwaters Consortium and Seven Waves, expired in 2012, while OPL 221 owned by Total Exploration & Production Nigeria and Chevron, also expired in 2013.

Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs’ Moni Pulo Limited, whose OPLs 234 and 239 expired in 2013, has requested for an extension. The request, according to the DPR, is being evaluated. The company’s OPL 231 expired in 2016.

OPL 206, owned by Summit Oil International, which was founded by Chief MKO Abiola, and Oando’s OPL 278, expired in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

OPL 2008, owned by Tenoil Petroleum & Energy Services Limited, whose chairman is Mr. Tony Elumelu, expired in 2016, while OPL 284, operated by Sahara Energy E&P, co-founded by Mr. Tonye Cole, expired in 2017. OPL 286, operated by Sahara/BG Exploration Nigeria Limited, also expired last year.

OPL 291, operated by Sir Emeka Offor’s Starcrest, expired in 2016, while OPLs 285 and 279, operated by Emo E&P/Total E&P Nigeria Limited, expired in 2017.

OPL 283 owned by Newcross Petroleum Limited and Rayflosh Petroleum expired in 2015. The firms have applied for conversion to OML.

Amalgamated Oil Company Limited’s OPL 452 and OML 110, operated by Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria Limited expired in 2016. Cavendish has applied for the lease renewal.

OML 111, owned by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company expired in 2016, and OMLs 138 and 139 operated by Total E&P Nigeria Limited expired in 2017.

OMLs 104 and 112, operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and Alhaji Sani Bello’s AMNI International Petroleum Limited, expired in January and February this year.

Our correspondent further learnt that Essar E&P Limited, whose OPL 226 expired in 2015, has requested for an extension of the exploration phase of the Production Sharing Contract; the process for conversion of OPL 223, operated by Esso E&P Limited, which also expired in 2015, to OML has not been completed, according to the DPR.

Also, OPLs 722,733, 809 and 810, being operated by the New Nigeria Development Company Limited, a company owned by the 19 northern states, all expired in 2016, while Nigeria Development United Limited’s OPL 233 also expired that year.

Orient Petroleum Refinery Limited, whose OPLs 915 and 916 expired in 2015, applied for the conversion of the licences but the application, according to the DPR, was not processed because it was not accompanied by the statutory application fee. The company is a subsidiary of Orient Petroleum Resources Limited, which has Chief Emeka Anyaoku as its chairman.

Other expired blocks are OPL 907, operated by Afren Global Energy Resources Limited; OPLs 305 and 306, owned by Crownwell and Platinum Natural Resources; OPL 471 (China National Offshore Oil Corporation); OPL 223 (Esso E&P Limited); OPL 905 (Gas Transmission & Power Limited); OPL 2010 (GEC Petroleum Development Company Limited); and OPL 276 (Newcross and Albright Waves Petroleum Development-Punch

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