Lawmakers Make Huge Declaration Over Re-allocated Atala Oil Field

Lawmakers Make Huge Declaration Over Re-allocated Atala Oil Field

  • Members of the Senate took a decision to declare the re-allocation of the Atala Oil Field by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) void and illegal
  • The Senate in its decision called for the return of the filed to its original owners with immediate effect
  • According to the lawmakers, it is condemnable that civil servants in the NUPRC could reverse an order made by the presidential with the right approcal for such action

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The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has been mandated to restore the Atala Marginal Oil field ( OML 46) to its former owners. gathered that the Oil field, which was originally owned by the trio of Bayelsa Oil Company Limited (BOCL), Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited (HONL) and Century Exploration and Production Limited, was erroneously reallocated to Halkin Exploration and Production Company Limited (Halkin E&P).

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Lawmaker, Senate, Atala oil field, Muhammadu Buhari
Lawmakers of the Nigerian Senate has declared the re-allocation of Atala Oil Field by NUPRC void. Photo: Nigerian Senate
Source: UGC

This was done through a letter dated July 7, 2021, by the then regulatory agency, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), over the alleged inability to bring the Atala Field to production.

Calling for the restoration of the field, the Senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions has mandated that the Atala Oil field should be reallocated to Halkin.

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The committee which met on Thursday, October 6, was also disappointed over the non-appearance of both NUPRC and the beneficiary, Halkin Oil at the hearing.

It was only Barrister Ike Onwuchuluba who made an appearance on behalf of the petitioner, Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited.

The parties were earlier mandated by the committee to produce written evidence showing that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the reallocation of the field.

Expressing the Senate's disappointment, Ayo Akinyelure, the senator who represents Ondo Central federal constituency condemned the total disregard for an order made by the president stating that the Atala Oil field be reallocated to the original owners.

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His words:

"We have invited them severally and again, but they have not been able to come before Nigerians and prove that the allocation of Atala Oil to Halkin is justified before the law and before humans.
"The position of this particular committee in the last sitting was that we want the NUPRC to provide evidence before this committee today, to inform our decision on whether to support the position of NUPRC or not.
"It has not been heard anywhere allover the world that, when Mr. President gives a presidential Order, a civil servant would go ahead and reverse it without a written permission from Mr. President."

Speaking further, the Senate committee members said they were not convinced by the report of the NUPRC that the commission has been misinformed to allocate Atala Oil to a private limited liability company.

They added:

"Today we are here, but we can't see NUPRC, we can't even see the MD of Halkin Oil show us the President's Order that reversed his earlier Order."

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The committee finally resolved that the revocation and allocation of Atala Oil are declared void and that the Atala Oil should be returned to its original owners, in line with the Presidential Order.

It also agreed that the NUPRC should carry out the Presidential Order immediately and to ensure immediate compliance, the committee vowed to submit its report to the Senate plenary.

This would be followed up with the Senate's resolution to the regulatory agency.

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