President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to take over the entire OML 11 not later than 30 April 2019 and ensure smooth re-entry given the delicate situation in Ogoniland.
The order came in a letter addressed to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, dates March 1 2019 and signed by the chief of staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
The letter also added that the NNPC/NPDC was to confirm by 2nd May 2019 the assumption of the operatorship, and NPDC, which is the flagship oil exploration and production subsidiary of the NNPC acknowledged that they received the letter on March 5 2019.
OML 11 is located in the southeastern part of the Niger-delta and is one of the most important blocks in Nigeria, when it comes to production.
The block contains 33 oil and gas fields of which eight are producing as per 2017.
From sources at the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in Abuja, it was gathered that the OML 11 was a joint venture operated by 4 partners.
“If you are talking about that operatorship, you are talking about a joint venture where you have four partners and you can pick any of the partners to run the asset on behalf of others. And whoever runs the asset will account to the partners when it comes to the sharing table,” a source at the FMPR said.
It was also gathered that the NNPC owns 55 percent shares in the OML 11 partnership, while Shell, Total and Agip own 30, 15 and 5 percent respectively in joint venture.
Sources at NNPC also tell us that policy directions are hardly clearly disseminated to the staff.
From Leadership, sources at FMPR explained that the directive from the president moved the operatorship of OML 11 from Shell to NPDC and not the shares of the partners in the joint venture.
Additionally, a correspondent was able to gather that Shell had not produced a drop of crude oil from Ogoniland for about five years and that partners were not earning revenue as a result of this.