The Nigerian Government has resumed discussions with Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) to resolve all legal actions in respect of Nigeria’s deep water oil block, Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245, with a target of producing about 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Zabazaba oil field.
The conversation in respect of OPL 245, was again revisited when the Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) executives, led by Mr. Fabrizio Bolondi, Managing Director, visited Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive, NUPRC at the weekend.
NUPRC in a statement obtained by EnergyDay, stated that the purpose of the meeting was to resume discussions on Nigeria’s deepwater oil block OPL 245, as part of the efforts of the Federal Government to develop the oil-rich field for the benefit of Nigerians.
According to the Commission the arrangement is underway to ensure resolution of all legal matters concerning the Zabazaba oil field.
The Commission stated that the action is taken to facilitate the resolution of these issues and move forward with the conversion process, converting the oil prospecting license into a mining lease for commercial oil development and production.
EnergyDay’s check revealed that the development of the OPL 245 oil license has been delayed due to several issues caused by the long-running dispute between the Nigerian government and Eni SpA and Shell Plc.
The Nigerian government revoked Malabu’s OPL 245 license in 2001, which triggered legal disputes over its ownership that dragged on for years.
In 2014, Nigeria’s House of Representatives voted to cancel the OPL 245 deal, calling it contrary to the laws of Nigeria.
The Shell and Eni’s deal for OPL 245 is estimated to have deprived the people of Nigeria of an estimated $6 billion in future revenues.
Attorney General Abubakar Malami suggested in a letter to former Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari on February 6, 2023, that the lawsuits relating to Shell and Eni’s deal for OPL 245 should be halted to enable upstream oil and gas investment.
The Zabazaba and the Etan fields are located in oil prospecting lease (OPL) 245 offshore Nigeria in the Niger Delta of the Gulf of Guinea, in water depths ranging from 1,200m-2,400m.