AMID a raging debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Business and Rules, Senator Ita Enang, on Wednesday, said that 83 per cent of oil blocks in the country are owned by Northerners. “There should be equity and federal character in the allocation of oil blocks in this country.
Eighty-three per cent of all present oil blocks are held by northerners,” Enang said on the floor of the Senate, without any of the senior lawmakers contradicting him. Enang, representing Akwa Ibom North-East (Uyo) Senatorial District, therefore demanded a review of oil block licences in the country even as other senators from the South urged him on. Enang’s disclosures came a day after the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill had split the senators along North-South lines.
The senators held a rowdy session as those from the north stoutly opposed the provision of 10 per cent Host Community Fund in the bill. The provision requires operating companies in the Niger Delta, home to Nigeria’s vast oil resource, to pay 10 per cent of their net profits to the fund for the development of the communities. Strengthening his submission, Senator Enang gave a summary of major oil blocks vis-a-vis their ownership.
Enang said Cavendish Petroleum, the operators of OML 110, awarded to Alhaji Mai Deribe of Borno State (North East), makes an average of about N4bn monthly. He said, “Seplat/Platform Petroleum, operators of the ASUOKPU/UMUTU marginal field has Prince Sanusi Lamido (not CBN Governor) as a major shareholder and Director. “South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO), was established by Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, who is also the Chairman of ENI Nigeria Limited. SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Lomited to become operators of the OPL 246. “AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company is owned by Alhaji (Colonel) Sani Bello of Kotangora, Niger State. They are operators of OML 112 and OML 117.
“A former Petroleum minister and former OPEC chairman, Rilwanu Lukman, another northerner, manages AMNI oil blocks and with very key interests in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal. “Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Indimi, runs three oil blocks: OML 15, the Okwok field and the Ebok field.
“Alhaji Aminu Dantata’s Express Petroleum and Gas Limited operates OML 108. “OML 113 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited is owned by Alhaji. W.I. Folawiyo. “OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor, which was sold by Starcrest to Addax Petroleum. Emeka Offor still has a stake in Addax operations in Nigeria. “Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria with six oil blocks;
“Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo’s North East Petroleum Limited is the holder of the OPL 215 licence. NOREASTER Petroleum was awarded blocks OPL 276 and OPL 283 and closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and CCC Oil and Gas. “INTEL is owned by (Abubakar) Atiku, Yar’Adua and Ado Bayero and has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry, both in Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.