April 17, 2024
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Nigeria: Minister to Resolve Atala Oil Field Ownership Dispute

The Nigerian minister of state oil resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, has made a promise that the federal government would resolve the ownership dispute around the Atala oil field as soon as possible.

Lokpobiri made this promise when the Bayelsa state Governor Douye Diri, paid him a courtesy call on Thursday, in Abuja.

The Atala oil field, OML 46, has been embroiled in controversy regarding its ownership and operation. The Bayelsa state government, through Bayelsa Oil Company Limited, was initially a partner in the field along with other companies.

But the Department of Petroleum Resources, now Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, revoked BOCL’s licence, citing lack of production, in 2020. This the Bayelsa state government sees as unfair, having the backing of the senate. Halkin Exploration and Production Limited currently operates the field.

However, a statement issued on Thursday by by Nneamaka Okafor, Special Assistant, Media and Communications to the minister, reads: , “In response to Governor Diri’s appeal for the ministry’s intervention in restoring the Atala oil field belonging to Bayelsa State, the minister assured prompt attention to the matter.”

“We will look into the issue promptly and ensure fairness and equity in addressing state concern. We are open to partnerships with the Bayelsa State Government for mutual progress,” Lokpobiri stated.

Governor Diri appreciated the minister’s efforts, commending his “remarkable performance” in shaping the energy sector. And he urged him to continue with the good work.

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