Bayelsa government said it is pursuing the revalidation of the licence for Atala marginal oilfield on Oil Mining Lease (OML) 46 revoked recently by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Commissioner for Information, Ayiba Duba, who stated this in Yenagoa, yesterday, said the government was pursuing an amicable resolution of issues that necessitated the revocation by the DPR.
It was learnt that the oil field operated by Bayelsa Oil Company had been developed up to test production level with a crude cargo of 1,000 barrels awaiting evacuation and that the oil company was awaiting the nod of DPR to commence commercial production.
DPR had on April 6, announced the revocation of 11 of the 13 marginal fields licences it had issued to indigenous oil firms.
OML 46 held by Bayelsa government, located within onshore swamps in Bayelsa, was won in 2013 through a bidding process conducted by the DPR, and was among the licences revoked for being dormant for over five years.
Duba said the state had reviewed the development and decided to work with relevant agencies of the Federal Government to put measures to meet the requirements fro its operation on the DPR checklist.
“As a government, we are not antagonistic about the revocation because there are many others and some of them have gone to court to challenge the decision; we are not part of them, rather we are seeking an amicable resolution. We took time to review the checklist and update the regulatory agencies of steps we have taken to meet the set criteria, and we are hoping to be successful in the ongoing bid for the marginal field license.
“With the level of collaboration and commitment of the present administration, the marginal field would commence commercial production as soon as the licence is revalidated because we have fixed all pending issues,” Duba said.
The Federal Government as part of its policy of growing the participation of Nigerians in the oil sector decided to return all marginal fields previously held by International Oil Companies (IOCs) to local firms.
A marginal field according to DPR is an oil block with confirmed reserve up to 10 million barrels of crude oil.
Bayelsa government through the Bayelsa Oil Company holds 40 per cent equity in the oil block along with other investors who operate the field.