(From Nathan Nwakamma, NAN)
The Bayelsa government says it is pursuing the revalidation of the licence for the Atala Marginal Oilfields on Oil Mining Lease (OML) 46 earlier revoked by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Mr Ayiba Duba, Bayelsa Commissioner for Information, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Yenagoa that the government is pursuing an amicable resolution of the issues that necessitated the revocation by the oil industry regulators.
Checks at the OML 46 field indicate that the field operated by Bayelsa Oil Company had been developed up to test production with a crude cargo of 1,000 barrels awaiting evacuation, as the oil company awaits the nod of DPR to commence commercial production.
NAN recalls that DPR had on April 6, 2020, announced the revocation of 11 of the 13 marginal fields licenses it had issued to indigenous oil firms.
OML 46 held by Bayelsa government, and located within onshore swamps in Bayelsa, won in 2013 through a bidding process conducted by the DPR was among the licences revoked for being dormant for over five years.
Dubs told NAN that the state had reviewed the development and decided to work with relevant agencies of the federal government and put measures to meet the requirements in the 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 Nigerian oil firms.
A marginal field according to DPR is an oil block with confirmed reserve up to 10 million barrels of crude oil.
NAN gathered that Bayelsa government through the Bayelsa Oil Company holds 40 per cent equity in the oil block along with other investors who operate the field.