OML 98: Pan Ocean, other stakeholders’ equity will be protected – DPR

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The equity and economic interests of all stakeholders will be protected as Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (Nigeria) Limited hands over OML 98 to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Ltd.

This disclosure was made on 14, February 2020 at a meeting involving representatives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), NPDC and Pan Ocean, as part of the asset handover process.

The Department of Petroleum Resources in March 2019 revoked Pan Ocean’s OML 98 licence over issues bothering on royalty payments. Over the last 11 months, Pan Ocean has spared no effort at ensuing a smooth transfer of the asset.

Assuring stakeholders that the midstream assets on OML 98 and those associated with the Mining Lease will continue to deliver value to stakeholders, Engr. Sarki Auwalu, Director, DPR said that outstanding operational costs incurred by the NNPC/Pan Ocean JV will receive due attention after verification.
He directed the NNPC/Pan Ocean JV to sort out members of staff associated with the asset while pointing out that legacy debt on the asset will be settled amicably, exploring available options, without recourse to legal steps.

According to Engr. Auwalu, “the equity and economic interests of all investors are recognized. We will ensure that no one is short-changed. Everyone will recoup their investments on all the assets and no investor will be discouraged.”

“Pan Ocean must work together with the new owner of OML 98, especially on the midstream assets. OML 98 cannot be operated efficiently and profitably without the midstream assets,” he said, while promising that a letter will be delivered to Pan Ocean in the next few days to assure the company about the security of its assets and equity.

While reassuring the regulators of Pan Ocean’s commitment to a smooth transition, Mr. Olajide Ishola, Chief Operating Officer, Pan Ocean said, “Since last year when the revocation of the asset came into effect, a lot of things were left in limbo. This meeting set the tone for the handover and future of the asset. In the months ahead, we will continue to work closely with regulators to ensure that there is no significant disruption in production as a result of change in ownership.”

Pan Ocean has engaged in economic activity on OML 98 since 1973. Within the period, the company created jobs, contributed to the development of critical national oil and gas assets, and improved infrastructure in host communities.

The meeting was attended by DPR Management team led by the Director, Engr. Sarki Auwalu, NPDC team led by Mr. Ferdinand Bariwei and representatives of Pan Ocean Jide Ishola, Olayiwola Sufianu, Oluseyi Oladapo, Veronica Folorunsho, Olu Daramola (SAN) and Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN). Selected energy, oil and gas editors were also at the meeting.

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