The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has not received any letter or memo from the Presidency as alleged instructing the taking over of the OML 11 from SPDC, a local arm of Anglo Dutch oil major, shell.
A memo was in circulation on Wednesday on social media purported to have emanated from the presidency signed by Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to the presidency dated 1st March, 2019 with reference number SH/COS/24/A/8540 directing NNPC to take over the operatorship, from shell Development Company (SPDC), of entire OML11 not later than 30th April, 2019 and ensure smooth re-entry considering the situation in Ogoniland.
However, Ndu Umghamadu, the NNPC spokesperson disclosed that NNPC was not aware of such latter and could not comment further on what it has not seen.
OML 11, is owned by four Joint Venture (JV) partners, located in the south-eastern Niger Delta which contains 33 oil and gas fields of which eight were producing as at 2017.
It is considered to be one of the viable in terms of oil production in Nigeria.
Accordingly, NNPC owns 55 percent stake, Shell, the operator of the oil bloc has 30, Total 10 and AGIP 5 percent.
“NNPC/NPDC to confirm by 2 May 2019 the postulation of the operatorship,” the memo further directed.
Bamidele Odugbesan, the SPDC spokesperson, when contacted on phone declined comment.
In a typical oil industry, an operator is statutorily the owner and reserve the right to drill or a well. The operator contributes the largest financial stake in the development of a project and will automatically enjoy the largest share of profit.