Malabu Oil: Court Fixes May 18 For Hearing Of Application

Justice Tsoho of the Federal High Court, has fixed May 18 to hear plaintiffs application in the Malabu Oil case between the Nigerian government and some oil companies.

The application was made ex-parte by plaintiff for leave of court to serve writ of summons and other processes on 3rd defendant at 21/22 Marina Lagos.

The plaintiffs also sought date for motion for application for interlocutory reliefs.

On March 17, Justice Tsoho had set aside EFCC chairman’s application in the case and directed parties in the case who had an issue with the Malabu deal (OPL 245), to file fresh cases to ventilate their grievances.

Ruling on an application filed by the EFCC, Justice John Tsoho, upheld the application filed by Nigerian Agip Oil Exploration and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, challenging the order of forfeiture.

He held that the orders for forfeiture were initially made based on the ex-parte application filed by the EFCC which was irregularly filed.

The judge also dismissed an application filed by Malabu Oil and Gas Limited seeking to, among others, stay the earlier reserved ruling on the applications by Agip and Shell.

Military Foils Attack On Agip, Arrests 19 Vandals In Niger Delta

Military, AgipThe joint military force deployed to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta, says that it has thwarted an attack on Agip’s oilfield and arrested 19 suspected vandals in several operations in May and June 2016.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the force, Col. Isa Ado says troops foiled an attempt by suspected pipeline vandals to destroy Agip’s oil pipeline at Okpoma community

He explained that the suspected vandals had dug and planted dynamites beneath the pipeline location in a swamp for detonation before the troops foiled the sabotage operation.

Colonel Ado added that the joint force recovered two dynamite detonators, cable wire and battery.

He added that efforts were underway to round up fleeing criminals, including pipeline vandals and to dismantle all militant camps in the region.

Imo Assembly To Issue Bench Warrant On Defiant Oil Companies

imo-state-house-of-asemblyThe Imo State House of Assembly has threatened to issue a bench warrant on top officials of some oil companies doing business and operating in Imo State.

This threat is coming after the oil companies failed to honour an invitation to appear before the lawmakers in order to explain the reason for allegedly failing in their Corporate Social Responsibility to both the host communities and state government, especially in the payment of outstanding ground rents and other statutory payments amounting to N40 billion.

Before ordering the officials out of the Assembly premises in deep anger, the Speaker, Rt Honourable Acho Ihim, told the officials that a new date will be fixed for the top management officials of the oil companies to appear before the house.

Mr Ihim stated that failure to honour the invitation will be tantamount to compelling the House to invoke Section 129 (B) of the 1999 Constitution, which invokes a bench warrant on the top officials wherever they may be.

Oil companies involved includes Shell, Chevron, Addax, Agip and Waltersmith Oil.

However, efforts to speak with the officials present at the House of Assembly proved abortive, as they all turned down interviews.

In June, the Imo State House of Assembly passed a bill urging the State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to demand the immediate payment of outstanding ground rents and other statutory payments amounting to 40 billion Naira from oil companies operating in the state since 1978.

Pirates Kidnap 2 Near Nigerian Facility

Pirates have attacked a tugboat near the Brass River crude oil export terminal in the Niger Delta, kidnapping the ship’s captain and an engineer.

Sources said that the tugboat was coming from Port Harcourt in Rivers State to Brass to load petroleum at the terminal.

A spokesman for Italian oil company ENI, which operates the terminal said that the boat belonged to a contractor and that no ENI workers were involved.

A statement from an email address claiming to be the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), formerly Nigeria’s main militant threat and responsible for years of attacks on the oil industry until a 2009 amnesty, said it had launched the attack.

It came from a Jomo Gbomo, a pseudonym and email account MEND has used in the past.

However, security officials believe MEND to be largely defunct, with most of its senior leaders either having embraced the amnesty programme or in jail, so its continued statements are believed to be most likely a hoax.

Pirates kill oil worker in Tarabora creek, Bayelsa

An oil worker with Italian energy firm Eni, has been killed by pirates along the Tarabaora creek in Bayelsa state.

The worker was on a boat belonging to the firm’s local subsidiary, Agip in the state, the military said on Friday.

“The boat conveying some staff of Agip was attacked by sea robbers and one of the staff of the company died when he was attempting to escape and drowned,” Onyema Nwachukwu, spokesman for Nigeria’s military joint task force stated.

Nwachukwu also confirmed that two staff of the oil company went missing after the attack on the boat.

Pirates off the coast in the Niger delta, tend to raid ships for cash and cargo rather than hijacking the crews for ransom.

Naira firms at 161.10 against US dollar

The Nigerian naira firmed on the interbank market on Monday as dollar flows from two energy companies and banks increased liquidity and supported the local currency.

The naira closed at 161.10 to the dollar, firmer than its 161.25 close on Friday.

Traders said a unit of Addax Petroleum sold $10 million and Agip sold about $3 million to lenders. Some banks that bought dollars from state-owned energy company NNPC last week sold a portion of their holdings in the market on Monday.

“The market is comfortable with the level of dollar liquidity, that was the reason the naira is trading at this level today,” one dealer said.

The naira rose to 160.10 to the dollar on the interbank market last Monday after NNPC sold around $400 million, but fell in the week as demand squeezed out part of the supplies. But traders expected the naira to strengthen this week.

“We see the naira appreciating further in the near term because we are gradually entering the month-end cycle and expect more dollar inflows from oil companies and offshore investors buying local debt,” another dealer said.

On the bi-weekly auction, the central bank sold $300 million at 155.89 to the dollar, compared with $430 million sold at 155.87 to the dollar last Wednesday.

 

Senate to probe $1.092 billion Malabu oil deal

The Senate on Thursday resolved to investigate the alleged sale of oil Block, OPL 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited at $1.092 billion (about N178.812billion) by the Federal Government.

This resolution followed a motion moved by Ahmed Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) and supported by 46 other senators pointing out the legal and ethical issues arising from the transaction and pattern of distribution of proceeds to the beneficiaries.

Senator Ningi argued that the investigations should be conducted by an ad-hoc committee constituted by the Senate because issue involved oil resources, bank transactions and also raised issues of corruption.

He said Nigeria signed up to the Global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2003 and began implementation in 2004 and that the country later supported the policy with the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act 2007.

According to the Senator, the objective of the Act as encapsulated in Section 2(a and c) of the Act, included ensuring due process and transparency in payments made by all extractive industry companies to the Federal Government and statutory recipients.

Senator Ningi insisted that the Act also seeks to eliminate all forms of corrupt practices in the determination, payment, receipts and posting of revenue accruing to the Federal Government from the extractive industry companies.

He expressed worries over recent clamour for a review of “circumstances surrounding a tripartite transaction involving the Federal Government, Shell/Agip as well as Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in respect of Oil Bloc referred to as ‘OPL 245’ to the effect that the Federal Government purported to sell OPL 245 to Shell/Agip Consortium in the sum of 1,092,000.000 United States Dollars.”

Despite an objection by Heineken Lokpobiri, the senate referred the motion to the senate’s selection committee to determine which of its standing committees should handle the probe.

The Red Chambers thereafter adjourned plenary till September 17, 2012.