The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has come under severe attacks in the Senate over alleged revocation and wrongful re-allocation of Atala Marginal Oil Field (OML 46).
The oil field said to be owned by the Bayelsa State Government, was reportedly re-allocated to Halkin Exploration and Production Company Limited (Halkin E&P).
Worried by the development, and in search of redress, the Bayelsa Oil Company Limited (BOCL) and Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited, petitioned the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to intervene and resolve the matter.
Accordingly, the Senate Committee directed the management of NUPRC to produce a written directive from President Muhammadu Buhari, authorizing the re-allocation of the oil field to Halkin E&P.
The rift over the oil field started on April 6, 2020 when the then regulatory agency, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), revoked the operating licence of BOCL on the Marginal Oil Field on alleged lack of assets turn around for the nation in deriving maximum value from available resources therein.
However, the trio of BOCL, Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited and Century Exploration and Production Limited (CEPL), kicked against the revocation on the grounds that as original operators of the oil field, explorations and productions had been made and royalties paid into the account of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and that as at the time the field was purportedly revoked, the JV-partners had an outstanding 20,700 barrels of crude on the site.