NNPC, JV partners resolve dispute, resume operations in OML 25
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its joint venture partners, Shell Production Development Company (SPDC) and Belema Oil, have resolved their dispute over the operations of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 25.
The parties at the signing of a peace pact yesterday in Abuja agreed to resume work in the facility in the next 10 days.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, while signing the agreement, thanked the stakeholders, stressing that the step was the beginning of a new chapter in the industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted him as saying that the ministry under his watch would ensure an oil industry that operates in harmony.
His words: “When I assumed office, the issue was one of the problems that came to my table. There were numerous letters from communities on the crisis.
“I just decided to invite Shell to hear its own part of the story but fortunately, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, had intervened in the matter.
“So, I have the honour now to thank him for this great intervention.
“And I also thank Shell and Belema for cooperating to ensure that there is closure to this matter that has bedeviled the industry for so long.”
The minister restated government’s commitment to zero loss in production and delivery processes.
According to him, the concept was not limited to losses from pipelines but also others incurred by the nation on account of productive assets being unable to supply because they are bugged down by leakage issues.
He said that the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement were not the companies but the communities, especially those in Belema, which had been suffering since the onset of the impasse.
The NNPC boss said that the rift had been on for over two years, depriving the host settlements of peace owing to disruption of properties and social lives.
Kyari pledged full engagement of the communities, adding that all parties would be taken care of.
He added that all opportunities would be shared equitably for overall peace and development of the country.
The Managing Director of Shell, Osagie Okunbor, expressed happiness at the development.
He noted that SPDC remains the operator of the facility but assured that all parties would derive from the benefits.
President of Belema Oil, Jack Rich-Tein, said the agreement signalled that stakeholders share a common interest of uplifting the country and strengthening relationships.