21 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Technical and commercial bids have been concluded on the $13.5 billion Zabazaba deepwater project, SweetcrudeReports’ investigations have revealed.
According to available information, the final bidding for the project that started last year, has been rounded up, indicating that the deepwater project is ready for contract award.
Nigerian Agip, the local arm of the Italian multinational Eni, is the operator of the oil field located in the contentious Oil Prospecting Licence, OPL 245. It is expected to generate $8 billion for Nigeria when it becomes operational.
This newspaper gathered that 50% fabrication and integration of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading, FPSO, top sides for the project, will be done in Nigeria.
The development comes on the heels of collaboration between Agip and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, to speed up the development of the Zabazaba and Etan deepwater project in compliance with the provisions of the 2010 Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Development, NOGICD, Act.
The NOGICD Act, introduced under Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan, established the NCDMB with a clear mandate to superintend all matters pertaining to content development in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The project had attracted its own share of controversies.
In a lawsuit in April this year, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the Federal Government, Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Limited and five others from signing the Final Investment Decision for the project.
Malabu Oil and Gas is also sought for an order of interlocutory injunction, to restrain the government and the minister from considering to revoke or revoke the re- allocation of OPL 245 granted it.
Although the suit filed by Mr J.A. Achimugwu on behalf of Malabu Oil and Gas, and presided over by Justice John Tsoho, was adjourned to May 18 however, no other information had been heard about the case until now, prompting conclusion that Malabu Oil and Gas Limited had lost the case against government, Agip and other parties involved in the deal.