Italian Oil Major Makes Huge Gas Discovery In Nigeria

Italian oil major, Eni, said on Wednesday that its Nigerian subsidiary Agip has found lots of gas and oil in an onshore facility in the Niger Delta.

Eni operated Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) made the discovery in the Obiafu-Obrikom fields.

It said the Obiafu-41 deep well had reached a total depth of 4.374 m, encountering an important gas and condensate accumulation within the deltaic sequence of Oligocene age comprising more than 130m of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sands.

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“The find amounts to about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas and 60 million barrels of associated condensate in the deep drilled sequences,” the statement by the oil major added.

“The well can deliver in excess of 100 million standard cubic feet/day of gas and 3,000 barrels/day of associated condensates, and will be immediately put on-stream to increase NAOC’s gas production.”

The statement added that Eni has been operating in Nigeria since 1962 and produces 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Court Dismisses FG’s $55m Debt Recovery Suit Against Agip Oil

Malabu Oil: Court Vacates Forfieture Order

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday dismissed a $55million debt recovery suit filed by the Federal Government of Nigeria against Agip Oil Company Limited.

In her judgment, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun held that the Federal Government failed to furnish the court with sufficient evidence in proof of the case.

The suit which was filed since 2016 is one among several other suits by the FG, seeking to recover almost $12 billion in missing crude oil revenue from some international oil companies.

Specifically, the FG accused Agip of under-declaring the volume of crude oil it shipped out of the country between January 2011 and December 2014.

The government claims that Agip short-changed it to the tune of $55million.

The government also asked the court to compel the oil firm to pay the said sum, with an annual interest rate of 21 percent.

During trial, the FG called one prosecution witness and tendered three exhibits before the court, while the defendant, Agip Oil also called one witness and tendered 12 exhibits.

In Nov 2018, parties closed their cases and final addresses were adopted on February 21, 2019, after which the court reserved judgment until today.

Delivering judgment today, Justice Olatoregun said the issue for determination was whether the Federal Government succeeded in proving its case to entitle it to a grant of the reliefs sought.

In answer, the court held that it is trite and settled law, that he who asserts must prove, adding that although allegations were made, the FG failed to establish same on a preponderance of evidence.

“The burden of proof starts with the plaintiff and keeps shifting until all the required evidence is placed before the court.

“While I do not have any evidence to suggest that it is impossible for the defendant to carry undeclared crude oil from Nigeria, i have no evidence to show that MT Cosmos (nominated to ship the crude oil) carried excess 500,000 barrels of crude oil with same bill of lading,” she held

“The plaintiff failed to make out a case that 500,000 barrels of crude oil was offloaded in Pennsylvania; the case of the plaintiff fails on the lack of proof on the preponderance of evidence.

“At this stage, I do not find it neccessary to proceed with the evaluation of the other reliefs.

“I, therefore, proceed to make an order dismissing this suit; it is hereby dismissed,” the court held.

The court also dismissed a similar suit filed by the FG against Brasoil, seeking to recover the sum of $4.8million in missing oil revenue.

Similar suits by the FG are also pending against Chevron Nigeria Limited, Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Shell Western Supply and Trading Limited among others

The Federal Government had also sued Total E&P Nigeria Plc, alleging that the oil company under-declared the volume of crude oil it shipped out of the country between January 2011 and December 2014.

The Federal Government accused the oil company of short-changing it to the tune of $245 million, by allegedly shipping several barrels of crude oil out of Nigeria, without making due remittance.

Bayelsa Community Drags Eni To Italian Court

Malabu Oil: Court Vacates Forfieture OrderThe Ikebiri community in Bayelsa state has dragged Eni, parent company of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to an Italian court over oil spill liabilities and pollution.

The community, a coastal settlement in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, is seeking cleanup and compensation for damages from an oil spill that affected their community in 2010.

In a statement issued in Yenagoa, Head of Legal Resources at the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Mr Chima Williams, noted that it is supporting the community in the legal action alongside Friends of the Earth, Europe.

RA/FoEN stated that Eni, which operates in Nigeria as NAOC is responsible for the spill caused by equipment failure.

It quoted its Executive Director, Dr. Godwin Ojo, as saying: “This is the first case of its kind against Italian oil giant Eni, after years of exploitation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

“Negligence and nonchalance from ENI and its subsidiary, NAOC has left the Ikebiri community suffering from the impacts of oil pollution for seven years.

“The leak was plugged in 2010, and NAOC claims to have cleaned up the site. However, according to the community the leaked oil in the surrounding area was simply burnt, without their consent. To date, no adequate compensation has been offered, or cleanup completed,” Ojo said.

Also, the Monarch of Ikebiri community, Francis Temi Ododo said that residents of the Niger Delta have suffered the effects of oil spillage for too long and can no longer bear it.

“Our community cannot wait any longer. We have had ENI’s pollution for too long, damaging our fishing, our farming and our lives. We are now looking to the Italian courts for justice for our people.

“The communities of the Niger Delta have had to live for decades with the effects of continuous oil spills on our health, the welfare and their livelihoods.

“Thousands of oil spills have ravaged the communities across the Niger Delta to feed the profits of ENI, and other oil and gas companies,” the community leader said.

Meanwhile, Media Relations Officer at the Exploration, Upstream and Technical Activities unit of the Eni, Marilia Cioni confirmed the litigation in an emailed response.

“I will revert to you with Eni’s position on this matter shortly,” Cioni said.

This is coming less than 24 hours after the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, met in a closed door meeting over the Malabu Opl 245 scandal.

The meeting dwelt on issues relating to Agip’s investment on Zabazaba field which is part of the Opl 245.

Malabu Oil: Ruling On Shell, AGIP Applications Stalled

malabuThe Ruling on two separate applications filed by Shell Oil exploration Nigeria LTD and Agip Oil seeking to vary an order made by the Federal High Court in Abuja, on January 26, 2017, which granted temporary forfeiture of the oil prospective license 245 bloc to the Federal Government has been stalled.

The ruling could not go on because of the three fresh applications filed by Malabu Oil, principally seeking to be joined in the suit as well, as a party in the already heard applications filed by Shell and Agip.

Counsel to Malabu Oil, Mr. Abdullahi Haruna told Justice John Tsoho that, the joinder application was aimed at delaying the ruling in the application filed by the two oil giant, so Malabu Oil can become one of the plaintiff in the suit.

However, the application was objected by lawyers to Agip and Shell because it is frivolous and a waste of the courts time.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Johnson Ojogbane, did not file any application but rather left the issue at the court’s discretion.

Nevertheless, after taking submissions from counsel, Justice John Tsoho adjourned the ruling on Malabu’s application to March 17, 2017.

Bayelsa Govt. Sues Agip Oil, Claims N1.6tn Worth Of Damage

Bayelsa Govt. Sues Agip Oil, Claims N1.6tn Worth Of DamageBayelsa State government, has sued Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) to a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, over an oil spillage from the company’s SBM Sirius, (offshore Brass) in Brass local government area of the state.

The government, in an originating summons, filed by the Bayelsa State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Kemeasuode Wodu, demanded the sum of 1.6 Trillion Naira compensation for general and exemplary damages from the spill which occurred on November 27, 2013.

The originating summons, which is pursuant to order 3 Rule 9 of the court, said the spill contravened the provisions of Regulation 13 of the Petroleum Regulation, made pursuant to the Pursuant Act Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the government is seeking an injunction restraining the defendant, its agents and or servants from further discharging onto or allowing petroleum (crude oil) to escape onto the waters of and around the said SBM Sirius, (Offshore Brass) facility.

Another relief includes an order directing the defendant (NAOC), to provide potable drinking water for the communities in Bayelsa state impacted by the said Petroleum spillage from the said SBM Sirius (offshore Brass) operated by the defendant.

The plaintiff added, “defendant should be ordered to take all appropriate steps towards restoring the land, swamps, rivers and waters impacted by the spillage and pay compensation to all persons whose properties were destroyed”.

While claiming that the spillage contravened relevant sections of the constitution, the plaintiff asked the court to declare that the action or conduct of the defendant in allowing or causing petroleum to escape from its SMB Sirius facility was as a result of its operational error into the waters of and around the said SMB facility which flowed into the sea and parts of Bayelsa State.

The plaintiff demanded a declaration that the defendant by allowing or causing petroleum to escape from its SBM Sirius facility as a result of its operational error, into the waters of around the said SBM Sirius facility contravened Regulation 13 of the Petroleum Act Cap P10 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

However, the state wants the court to declare that “the defendant is under a legal obligation to restore the lands, rivers, creeks and the entire environment impacted by the aforesaid petroleum (crude oil) that escaped from the SBM Sirius (offshore brass) facility on November 27, 2013 to their original state before they were impacted.”

House To Investigate Refusal Of Agip To Compensate Aboh Commuinty

House of Representatives in Nigeria kick against removal of JegaThe House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Environment and Gas Resources to investigate the refusal of the Nigerian Agip oil company to pay N400 million compensation for devastation caused by a gas leak in Delta State.

Moving the motion, Hon. Nicholas Ossai said the Irri/Kwale Gas Pipeline operated by the oil company emitted gas from 23rd to 29th December, 2009 which polluted the entire community of Aboh in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Committees on Gas Resources and Environment have been given three weeks to complete their assignment and report back to the House.