By Adewale Sanyaolu
The revocation of Dawes Island marginal field licence belonging to Eurafric Energy Limited has continued to cause ripples. The firm has denied claims by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) that the field was a subject of litigation.
DPR had awarded the field to Petrolan 54 Limited and its partners during the last bid round, a decision that did not go down well with Eurafic and had since been faulted through a petition to the House of Representatives.
The firm, while faulting the testament made by the DPR Director, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions regarding the revocation and the decision to reward same to Petralon, stated that, there was no pending court case on the matter neither was the delegation of authority an issue.
Eurafic Energy added that the field had produced over 62,000 barrels of oil as at the time of the revocation of its licence.
“What the issue is rather, is the basis on which the duo of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Auwalu will disregard a clear directive from the Minister of Petroleum, President Muhammadu Buhari, to reinstate the field to the JV.”
The company faulted DPR for failing to notify Eurafric of the said petition submitted by Petralon 54, adding that this establishes a clear case of bias against the Minister and Auwalu.
“It is also noteworthy that the then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, to whom the 2018 petition was submitted, disregarded it for being baseless and speculative.
The DPR claims the expenses were on sole-risk basis, yet, without investigating, they justified the award of the field to Petralon 54 based on its unsubstantiated claims, while disregarding that of Eurafric and Tako,”..
Eurafric pointed out that the claim that the field was inactive for 17 years is an attempt by DPR to change the narrative
“Two Force Majeure (FM) events of about 10 years cumulatively severely affected field development activities from licence award till date.
The first FM event, which spanned seven years from 2004 to sometime in 2011, was occasioned by militancy within the field area. At the height of this, Shell Petroleum Development Company also declared FM; evacuating 235 non-essential personnel from two oil fields, cutting oil production by 30,000 barrels per day.
“Similarly, our technical partner, PA Resources of Sweden declared FM as well and exited the country. This situation persisted until the government of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua commenced the Presidential Amnesty Program which restored normalcy to the region. This fact was corroborated by the DPR in the Dawes Island Marginal field extension letter of 28th March 2011 when it stated that: ‘Our records show that you have carried out some activities but not attained production. This is in recognition of the fact that there was spate of restiveness that pervaded the Niger Delta region in the past few years which almost paralysed exploration and production activities in the region.’”