A group of investors and indigenes of the Niger Delta, yesterday, condemned the Federal Government’s cancellation of Oil Prospecting Licences, OPL 2001, 2002 and 2003 in the Utapate field, stating that it was capable of re-igniting chaos in the Niger Delta region.
The investors affected by the cancellation are Jahcon International Limited, Hi Rev Exploration, Production Limited and Oil and Industrial Services Limited.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, representatives of some of the investors, said that after they won the bids for the blocs in 2007, the bid round was stalled for eight years by litigation until it was resolved amicably in 2015.
After the resolution, the representatives who chose not to be named for fear of victimisation, said the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, handed offers of OPLs 2001, 2002 and 2003 to Jahcon International Limited, Hi Rev Exploration and Production Limited and Oil and Industrial Services Limited, respectively.
The representative of one of the major investors in OPL 2001, stated that many Niger Delta indigenes were pained by the action of the president in revoking the licences of citizens from the oil-rich region without carrying out thorough consultations.
The investor stated that angry youths were already threatening to stop any attempt by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, to commence work on the oil field.
For investors in OPL 2002, they noted that although the court had directed all parties to stay action with respect to working on the field, officials of the NPDC recently made moves to commence activities on the field. However, in his reaction, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, confirmed the development, saying that the case was in court and that the NNPC and its subsidiary, NPDC, would abide by the rulings of the court.