*Bayelsa govt kicks
Lagos — Approval has been given by President Muhammadu Buhari for the reallocation of Oil Mining Lease, OML 46 to a new owner despite threats by the Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri to challenge its revocation by the federal government, and to insist on a reversal.
A letter indicating that OML 46 has been approved for transfer by the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Sarki Auwalu to a new owner has surfaced.
SweetcrudeReports noted that the Minister of Petroleum, Timipre Sylva was also copied in the letter which was to notify him of the directive already approved by President Buhari.
The Atala oilfield which the Bayelsa state government once had a 40 percent stake, now belongs to Halkin Exploration and Production Limited.
The letter for the approval was tagged, “Application to Assign the Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) to Halkin” with reference to PRES/88/MPR/72.
OML 46 was among the 11 out of 13 marginal field licences originally issued to indigenous oil companies in 2003, renewed in 2013, but was later revoked by the Department of Petroleum Resources in 2018 due to dormancy.
President Buhari has now approved that the marginal fields be re-awarded on discretionary basis to qualified companies with consideration given to the previous operators of the respective fields subject to the demonstration of technical and financial capacity and payment of applicable Good and Valuable Consideration, GVC.
“The Honourable Minister of State Petroleum Resources is respectfully invited to note that Halkin Exploration and Production Limited (Halkin) has expressed its interest in Atala marginal field which is one of the revoked assets.
“Halkin stated that in 2019, the company, through one of its subsidiary companies, received the approval of the board of Bayelsa Oil Company Limited (former operators of Atala field) to farm-in to 41 per cent of the field through the execution of farm-in agreement and field management service agreement with BOCL.
“The company claims to have invested over $60,000,000: 00 to revive the asset in the process. The company further states that the decision to submit an expression of interest on the field was based on the review of an independent audit of the asset’s reserve and Competent Persons report,” the letter noted.
Auwalu said the Department had conducted an assessment of Halkin, and confirmed that the oil firm has the potential to immediately bring progress and full development to the asset, including drilling of more wells and production utilisation of the field’s gas resources, adding that the GVC was calculated on a base case of $40/bbl which amounted to $8,087,129.86.
Auwalu then added that reawarding of the field to Halkin Exploration and Production Limited was subject to the payment of the calculated consideration within 45 calendar days, in line with the President’s approval which was earlier referenced.
“Above is respectfully submitted for the HMSPR’s consideration and further directives please,” Auwalu stressed.