Lonestar: Shell blames litigation for delay in liquidating $20m debt

Mutiu Sunmonu, Shell MD28 June 2013, Lagos – The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, has blamed the crisis currently rocking Lonestar Drilling Nigeria Limited for its inability to liquidate its US$20 million (N3.2 billion) indebtedness to the firm.

According to a statement by Mr. Precious Okolobo of the Corporate Affairs department of the company, SPDC is aware that Lonestar is presently embroiled in an internal management crisis, and this is the subject of an ongoing litigation in which one of the feuding parties has obtained a temporary court order restraining SPDC from paying any money or proceeds from the use or hire of Lonestar Rigs 203 and 204 into any Lonestar Group accounts into any bank.

He stated that the company has launched an investigation into the allegations of misconduct leveled against one its staff by officials of Lonestar.

He said: “The attention of the management of SPDC has been drawn to issues related to the company’s business relationship with an indigenous drilling company Lonestar Drilling Nigeria Limited.

”We are also aware that some representatives of Lonestar were on a Nigerian television programme, June 25 2013, where they claimed that SPDC is indebted to Lonestar to the tune of more than US$20 million.

“The Lonestar representatives also made allegations suggestive of acts of misconduct against the company and one of its employees.

“A video recording purporting to be of the concerned employee was relayed as part of the television broadcast.

“With respect to the allegations made against its employee, SPDC wishes to reassure all stakeholders that it views the situation with utmost seriousness, and in demonstration of this, has authorised an immediate and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding these events.”

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