The Department of Petroleum Resources has been requested to effect the revocation of the mining licenses of four oil blocks and one prospecting license.
The agency said the revocation was to “recover legacy debts” allegedly owed by the affected companies and that the revocation came on the backdrop of alleged non-compliance with statutory regulatory obligations.
The order came from the Minister of Petroleum Resources who doubles as the President of Nigeria in the person of Muhammadu Buhari. Stakeholders had raised concern over the absolute power of the president to award, revoke and renew licenses, urging the passage of laws like the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which Buhari failed to assent to earlier in the year, would have created a more transparent and accountable way to handle licensing processes.
The Petroleum Act 2004 and the Petroleum (Drilling and Production) Regulation of 1969 (as amended in 2001) authorize the Minister of Petroleum Resources to renew or revoke oil licenses once statutory payments in terms of applicable royalty, concession rentals, and fees are paid or otherwise.
The affected companies are Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (OML 98); Allied Energy Resources Nigeria (OML 120 and 121); Express Petroleum and Gas Company (OML 108); Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria (OML 110) and Summit Oil International (OPL 206).