$1.1bn Malabu Oil deal: Transparency Group Writes PMB, NASS On shady Sales Of Oil Blocks

$1.1bn Malabu Oil deal: Transparency Group Writes PMB, NASS On shady Sales Of Oil Blocks

Oil Sector Transparency advocacy group known as the Transparency in
Petroleum Exploration and Development Initiative (TIPEDI) on Monday sent
a protest letter to the President, Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership
of the National Assembly over

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alleged attempts to sell the seized Malabu
Oil block, OML 245 to some pseudo fronts without recourse to the laws
of the Country.

group also alleged that despite the calls for the transparency and
accountability in the sale of the Malabu Oil Block by the Federal
Government, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari  and
the National Assembly to urgently scrutinize and terminate most of the
other OML transactions entered into by the former Petroleum Minister,
Mrs Deziani Allison-Maduekwe over alleged shaddy sale.

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Transparency group, TIPEDI, in the petition signed by the Secretary of
the group, Hon. Michael Amaegberi and the Director of Mobilization, Mr.
Derek Igho, stated that though the group welcomed the ongoing reforms of
the present administration in the oil and gas sector and the reported
revocation of the controversial Malubu Oil Block,” but from what we read
in the newspapers, this Oil Block will be transferred to a new Company
to be set up, but we are not sure if this is the best way to go in this
era of change, considering the proliferation of government owned
companies in the Oil and Gas industry and their poor records of
we in TIPEDI are specifically calling on President Buhari and the
Security Agencies as well as the Petroleum Industry Regulatory Agencies
and the National Assembly to urgently scrutinize and terminate most of
the other OML transactions entered into by the former Petroleum
Minister, Mrs. Deziani Allison-Maduekwe, because we believe most of them
were undertaken in circumstances that are clearly not above board.”

“Whatever may have been the basis for the Federal Government’s
acquisition of OML 245, will be more than enough basis on which to
acquire OML 29 too, which was a Shell Petroleum Development Company
SPDC, asset which we believe they were forced to sell off to some
private interest in the dying days of Mrs. Allison-Maduekwe’s
Ministership. Not only was OML 29 sold off but even a strategic national
asset, the 97 kilometers Nembe – Bonny Crude Export Trunk Line was also
sold off to the same private interest as part of the deal.”

“As an Industry watchdog, we have carefully studied the transaction and
arrived at numerous reasons to call for the revocation of this deal,
all of which are grounded in patriotic zeal. For instance, OML 29 which
though operated by Shell, was jointly owned by the NNPC, SHELL, AGIP and
TOTAL. However, information at our disposal indicates that it was only
Shell that went into negotiations with the company that eventually
bought over the oil block.”

“Our grouse here is, why were the other JV partners, especially Agip
which is already operating in the area not allowed to buy over the Shell
equity. On the other hand, if Shell and the others wanted to divest
honestly, why didn’t they return the assets to the DPR for them to be
listed and sold off transparently?”

“If even the JV partners are to dispose of the asset themselves, the
law stipulates that they must first get written consent of the Minister
of Petroleum before embarking on the negotiations, but going through the
entire transaction documents, we could not find any such Ministerial
approval. Neither did we find any evidence of the JV partners paying
requisite fees for the assignment of their joint interest to a third

critical requirements before such an asset can be disposed off, include
the need for the acquiring party or company to be of good reputation as
well as possessing the necessary technical skill, experience and
financial muscle to take over such a highly specialised operation. Were
these factors really considered and the beneficiary Company found
capable before given the nod?”

“In the well considered opinion of TIPEDI, these conditions were
overlooked in a bid to promote self interest over and above the national
interest. It seriously beggars belief that a virtually unknown company,
whose promoters were later alleged to be enmeshed in some financial
malfeasance involving the former Petroleum Minister, would be so
brazenly awarded what is clearly the most prolific Oil block currently
producing, along with the Export Trunk Lines!”

“All concerned parties, to whom TIPEDI have already written a petition
to, including Mr President, in his capacity as President and Petroleum
Minister, The DSS, DG EFCC, IGP, Leadership of the National Assembly,
must all address this issue and resolve it in the interest of the
nation, the Oil and Gas industry as well as the ongoing war on
Corruption by the Buhari administration.”

“This transaction must be revisited, and after a thorough
investigation, all those found culpable of having shortchanged this
country, including any IOCs, must be must be prosecuted. TIPEDI, hereby
gives notice to the Security Agencies of our willingness to mobilise
members of the public on a street protest, if nothing tangible is done
about this serious breach of our economic well-being within a reasonable

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