Port Harcourt — The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, has disclosed that the move to renew its licence for Oil Mining Lease, OML11 will not return the company to Ogoniland for any form of oil exploration activities.
This comes as the Federal High Court in Abuja, last Friday, ordered the Minister of Petroleum Resources to renew OML11 licence to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, for 20 years.
SPDC Manager, Media Relations, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, explained that SPDC cannot return to Ogoni field, since it had already handed the operatorship (of the said oil field) to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC (a subsidiary of NNPC), since 2012.
Odugbesan told our correspondent exclusively that SPDC had to embark on OML11 renewal in fulfilment of the company’s obligations under the Petroleum Act.
He further disclosed that apart from Ogoni oilfields, SPDC was operating other critical assets within OML11, such as Afam VI power plant.
According to him, “SPDC believes the SPDC JV has fulfilled its obligations under the Petroleum Act for the renewal of OML 11 and hence has a right to renew the lease.
“It has operated the OML for over 50 years and has significantly invested not only in assets related to the OML but also in assets that are important to other SPDC JV operations but located within the OML such as Afam VI power plant.
“While we are pleased by the court’s ruling upholding our rights in the lease, our preference remains to engage with the authorities on options available for the amicable resolution of issues around the lease’s renewal.
“Please note that the suit was in respect of the renewal of OML11 (done on behalf of SPDC and its JV partners). SPDC handed over the operatorship of Ogoni field to NPDC, the E&P subsidiary of NNPC in 2012.”