COVID-19: Confusion,suicide threat hit oil industry

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…as desperate FG  takes over multi-billion Naira  marginal fields

..Begs billionaires to buy revoked fields

…Oil barons dissappear from homes

….DPR top officials deny

There is confusion among top oil industry regulators, as two of the affected chief executives officers of marginal fields revoked yesterday  have threatened to commit suicide instead of waiting for banks to take over their properties. The assets were used as collateral for the loans acquired for the development of these fields to be paid with proceeds from sales of crude oil and gas.The threat messages sent to their friends and bankers  follows sudden revocation of their fields which are already billed to commence export of crude oil after completing necessary purchase agreement and approval of work programne for 2020 by  the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

An official of the oil industry said: “The federal government  is desperate to raise alternative revenue needed to meet shortfall in oil revenue  from drop in prices below $30 per barrel.The revocation of 11 marginal fields  became necessary with no hope of higher revenue from value added tax ( VAT) during the second quarter of 2020.”

However to avoid collection of revocation letters, it was gathered that some of the representatives of these companies left their homes and offices  with instruction for the  security operatives to reject any letter from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the DPR

Marginal fields are abandoned  oil fields with daily production below 10,000 barrels per day  eased from International Oil Companies (IOCs) with high fixed cost and considered them as unprofitable. The fields were later awarded to indigenous companies with low fixed and operating costs in 2003 by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Companies and marginal fields  which the Federal Government is hoping to rake multi-billion naira from them include :

Movido – Ekeh,

Goland – Oriri;

Independent Energy – Ofa,

Associated – Tom Shot Bank,

Bayelsa – Atala,

Sogenal – Akepo,

Delsigma – Ke,

Bicta – Ogedeh,

Guarantee – Ororo,

Eurafic – Dawes Island,

and Sahara – Tsekelewu.

Nigerian NewsDirect gathered that a number of these marginal fields have gone far in their operations and are simply waiting for the DPR to grant necessary permits to conduct well tests, start production, evacuate and sell crude oil. An industry source said that  some have even sold and have paid royalty fees to the DPR among others.

A DPR official said:”There is confusion.”

Efforts to get reaction of the Director DPR Engineer Auwal Sarki and Head Public Affairs Unit Paul OSU proved abortive.No response to calls and text messages.