Olusegun Adeniyi: Of Nigeria’s oil barons and the Petroleum Industry Bill

by Olusegun Adeniyi

 What is even more unfortunate is that the multinational oil companies who together officially account for 88 percent of Nigeria’s current production figure of 2.4 million barrels of oil per day […] will be laughing at us. Because we are literally fighting among ourselves over what Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has appropriately described as crumbs!

Statistics, according to Aaron Levenstein, are like a woman’s bikini bathing suit. While what they reveal is usually suggestive and interesting, what they conceal is even much more vital. That perhaps is the only way to explain the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) debate last week in the Red Chambers, which led some Senators into bandying all manner of figures about which region controls what percentage of Nigeria’s oil and gas assets. Even when the essence of some of the comments was to score cheap political points, the patently false claim by Senator Ita Enang that industry players from the North control 83% of the oil blocs in the country has become not only politically divisive but has indeed further exposed our delicate fault-linesBecause of the distractions in the polity as a result of the ‘revelations’ I had to work my government contacts to secure the complete list of indigenous oil companies operating in Nigeria, including the names of their directors, their operating acreage numbers and the dates they were granted. I am also unveiling the license shareholders in the marginal fields, so that those interested in which parts of the country the operators come from can begin their own meaningless arithmetic. The essence of my intervention is to lay to rest all the speculations and innuendoes that do not in any way advance the current debate, so that we can then move to the more substantive issue of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

It is indeed rather disturbing that many otherwise respected persons actually believe Senator Enang’s claims and are, on that basis, making incendiary comments. What is even more unfortunate is that the multinational oil companies who together officially account for 88 percent of Nigeria’s current production figure of 2.4 million barrels of oil per day, based on operatorship responsibility and unofficially actually run the entire show, will be laughing at us. Because we are literally fighting among ourselves over what Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has appropriately described as crumbs!

As at today, the total number of Oil Mining Lease (OML) in operation in our country is 109, while the total number of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) is 92. But the 2012 target of 2.48 million barrel of oil per day (MBOPD) was made up of 1.5 MBOPD from the onshore and shallower water terrain and 900800 BOPD from the Deepwater; which to date is currently controlled by the multinationals. The NNPC and some indigenous partners are mere concessionaires. However, if production is calculated on equity basis, the percentage of our production controlled by the multinational companies is 43% Joint Venture and 65-70% in the Performance Sharing Contracts (PSC).

It is noteworthy that Deepwater PSCs are mainly controlled by IOCs, while the entire production by indigenous companies totals 276,000 barrels per day. This is about 11 percent of our national production. Interestingly, this is inclusive of the government-owned NPDC, Seplat, Pan Ocean and other independent marginal producers. The remaining 88 percent production, as I mentioned earlier, is by the multinationals and their partners/concessionaires in the JV and Deepwater operations.

For readers to understand how miserable the domestic stake in our oil production is, here is a breakdown of the current figures of barrels of oil per day by the oil companies operating in our country: Shell (605,539); Exxon Mobil (528,000); Chevron (489,999); Total Elf (400,134); Agip (98,284); Addax (90,489); NPDC (125,828); Seplat (40,033); Pan Ocean (7,387) and the others described as Independent Marginals (102,797).  It is clear from the foregoing that Nigerians are small players in the sector, yet we now criminalise one another when we should be thinking of how to reposition the industry and make it transparent, so it can benefit a greater majority of our people.

Notwithstanding the posturing by politicians, the point must be made that rent seeking, which is the name of the game within our oil and gas sector, is the most detribalised commodity in Abuja where patronage politics has no tribal mark. Even at that, anybody with elementary knowledge of the industry knows that what matters most are the production figures and to that extent, it is not too difficult to ascertain which section of the country most of the big boys (and a big girl!) actually come from.

I am aware of expressions of indignation in some circles, especially among Niger Delta people, about the it-can-only-happen-in-Nigeria, albeit legitimate, T.Y. Danjuma’s $1.75 billion SAPETRO upfront take from the $2.268 billion transaction with the Chinese. But for those who see North/South in every issue, even that has been counter-balanced by the controversial (for want of a more appropriate word) $1.1 billion dollars paid to Dan Etete by Shell/Agip for Malabu, through the instrumentality of the current administration. Incidentally, both deals have an imprint of the late General Sani Abacha who actually allocated the choice blocks to the two individuals before death played a fast one on him to put asunder all his cold calculationsIt is, however, significant that the entire controversy was started by Northern senators who opposed certain aspects of the PIB on what ordinarily could be considered genuine grounds. But the unfortunate subtext was that they deliberately conveyed the impression that the clauses were inserted because the President is from the Niger Delta, even when nothing can be farther from the truth. As a matter of fact, the idea of the Host Community Fund (HCF) on which they raised serious objection did not originate from President Goodluck Jonathan— he inherited it from his predecessor, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who happened to be a Northerner. One day, I will explain its significance because I was in all the meetings and still have all the working papers. But it was part of the components of dealing with underdevelopment and restiveness in the Niger Delta by factoring in the interest of the host communities. And this is another point which the Northern Senators fail to appreciate.

Anybody who has ever traversed the landscape called Niger Delta will understand that nothing they get (or demand) from the federation account can be too much, given the level of environmental degradation that has practically turned vast areas in the region to a wasteland. Even when the wealth that sustains our nation is derived from there, the experience of most people, especially in oil producing communities is that of grinding poverty. That explains why, even when the argument that the 13 percent derivation has not been properly directed may be true, it is difficult to use it as justification to deny the legitimate demands of the Niger Delta people. I recall that the late Yar’Adua’s argument at every meeting was always that the 13 percent derivation money was being misapplied by the Niger Delta Governors because it was never meant to be aggregated among other accruals and should not be for overhead. His thesis, and he repeated it all the time, was that the 13 percent to these states was to be warehoused by the governors and used solely for the development of oil producing communities, not their entire states. But it was an argument he never won, so the idea of the Equity Matrix formula for the HCF, developed at his instance by the Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah committee, was to resolve that problem in favour of the oil producing communities.

However, I also share the misgivings of the Northern Senators. Coming from Kwara State, I am aware that a state like Bayelsa which has far lesser population than my state sometimes collects from the federation account in one month what Kwara earns in a year. While I do not begrudge the Niger Delta region their due, to now add more money to those states at the expense of Kwara cannot be an equitable way to run a federation. To that extent also, all the current attempts by some Niger Delta Senators to blackmail the North on the issue is not only wrong-headed but counter-productive. Fortunately, the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, is not adopting such an approach and I want to commend her on that score.

I have had extensive interactions with industry stakeholders on the PIB and it is instructive that the minister is on course here. While the downstream sector of our petroleum industry was grossly mismanaged in 2010 and 2011 to put it mildly (apparently to buy an election), the leadership of the petroleum ministry has realized that the nation now has a golden opportunity to use the upstream sector to remedy some of the rot in the industry. Delivering the PIB is central to making this happen.

For instance, the two key concerns of the Northern Senators are gas supply to the North, since effectively only one (Geregu) of the 16 thermal power stations is located in the region; because of the challenge with the Ajaokuta-Kano gas pipelines. The second misgiving is that funding the HCF gives additional 10 percent of the profit of all Oil and Gas companies to the Niger Delta states and communities.

In trying to address these issues, I understand that the minister has already initiated appropriate compromises and trade-offs. I have it on good authority that the federal government has acceded to the position of the Northern Senators on the incorporation of the terms of the Domestic Supply Obligations (DSO) and Pricing Regulations signed by my late boss in the new legislation. As further assurance on the issue, provision is being made for the Calabar-Ajaokuta-Kano gas pipeline. Also, to allay the fears of the Northern Senators, a new National Frontier Exploration Services (NFES) is being established to explore other basins: Benue Trough, Bida Basin, Gongola Basin, Sokoto Basin, etc. The idea is to leverage upon the NFES as a trade-off for the HCF which provides long-term benefit to the nation, given the opportunity-cost that its establishment would offer when compared to the billions expended on security for petroleum facilities by the federal government and the IOCs.

Also, as a way around resolving the financial cost of the HCF, there are proposals for the dissolution of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and possibly too the Ministry of Niger Delta. The thinking is that the HCF will be more effective than the NDDC and Niger Delta Ministry as, unlike these two agencies, the Fund is targeted at the host communities. But since all options seem to be on the table, I will also recommend that the Amnesty Office too should go, because it was never conceived to be another bureaucracy or the slush fund that it has unfortunately become. If all these issues are successfully resolved, then chances are that Alison-Madueke may be able to deliver on the PIB and it this be a major achievement for her.

For now, for the benefit of those interested in who owns what and from where, below are the facts about indigenous companies operating in the upstream sector of our oil and gas industry:

Alfred James Petroleum, granted OPL 302 for ten years on June 26, 1991 has as directors Adewunmi Sijuade, Goke Sijuade, Adedeji Sijuade, Olayinka Sijuade, Adeyemi Osiyemi and Femisola Awosika with A. O. Adeyinka as chairman. Solgas Nigeria Limited, granted OPL 226 for five years on February 27, 1991 has as directors Oscar P. Udoji, P.E Udoji, E.E. Nwosu with J.O. Udoji as chairman. NorthEast Petroleum, granted OPL 215, 840 and 902 on October 21, 1991 for ten years has as directors Kommer Complex Limited, Nwokema,  Ngozi Mbu, Abubakar Jubril and Ashiru B. Aliu, A. Ayankoya with Saleh Jambo as chairman.

Optimum Petroleum granted OPL 310 for ten years on February 3, 1992 has as directors R.D. Adelu, Yusuf N’jie and O.A. Aremu with Ibrahim Bunu as chairman. Sunlink Petroleum, granted OPL 238 for five years and OPL 311 for ten years both on January 21, 1993 has as directors Olaniyi Olumide, Hayford Alile, Samuel Bolarinde, Richard Adelu, Martin Olisa, John Brunner and Emmanuel Ojei. Express Petroleum, granted OPL 108 and 227 for 20 years on November 1, 1995, has as directors Ahmadu Rufai Dantata, Tajudeen Dantata, Dalhatu Gwarzo, Lawan Omar with Aminu Alhassan Dantata as chairman. Dubri Oil Co. Nig Ltd, granted OPL 96 for 20 years on August 6, 1987 has as directors  B.N. Itsueli, C.A Itsueli, O.O. Itsueli, A.E. Ihuegbu with U.J Itsueli as chairman.

Amni International Petroleum, granted OPL 112 and 117 for 20 years on February 2, 1998 and August 2, 1999 respectively, has as directors E.C. Edozien, Tunde Afolabi with Sani Bello as chairman. Atlas Petroleum International Nigeria Limited, granted OPL 109 for 20 years on May 25, 1996 has as directors Umaru Ndanusa, Ikechukwu Joseph, Mohammadu Murtala with Arthur Eze as chairman. Consolidated Oil, granted OPL 103 on June 2, 1993 for 20 years and OPL 458 and 136 for five years in 1998 and 2006 respectively, has as directors O. Adenuga and Ebi Omatsola with Mike Adenuga as chairman. Oriental Energy Resources granted OPL 115 for 20 years on May 5, 1999, has as directors Usman Danburan, Jubrilla Mohammed Indimi with the senior Mohammed Indimi as chairman.

Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria Limited granted OPL 110 for 20 years on August 7, 1996, has as director Gambo Gubio with Mai Deribe as chairman. Allied Energy Resources Nigeria Limited granted OPL 120 and 121 on February 27, 2001 has Mickey Lawal as a director with Kase Lawal as chairman. Peak Petr granted OPL 122 on May 17, 2001 for 20 years, has as directors Adekunle Olumide, W. Bolaji, Florence D. Oluokun and Ayodeji Oluokun with M. A. Oluokun as chairman. Summit Oil Nigeria Limited granted OPL 205 and 206 on September 2, 1990 for 20 years, has as directors L.K.O Abiola and Radio Communications Nig Ltd with M.K.O Abiola as chairman. Crownwell Petr Limited granted OPL 305 and 306 in August 1993 for 10 years has S. K Adejumo as director with Sagir Kumashi as chairman. Famfa Oil Limited granted OPL 216 (OML 127) for ten years in August 1993 has as director Folorunsho Alakija with Modupe Alakija as chairman.

MoniPulo ganted OPL 114, 239, 234 and 231 for 20 years in 1999, 2008, 2008 and 2007 respectively has as Director F.A. Agama with O. B. Lulu-Briggs as chairman. Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company, granted OPL 113 for 20 years on June 11, 1998, has as directors S. T. Folawiyo, T.B Folawiyo with W. I. Folawiyo as chairman. Zebbra Energy Limited granted OPL 248 for 20 years on April 4, 2004 has as directors S.A. Okolo, Boni Madubunyi, Zimako O. Zimako with A.B.C. Orijako as chairman. Oil and Gas Limited granted OPL 249 and 140 for 10 years on May 5, 2003 and 2006 respectively has as director M.O Idrisu with Reggie Uduhim as chairman.

Continental Oil and Gas Limited granted OPL 59 for 30 years on June 6, 1998, has as directors Agbolade Paddy, Subair Shefiu with Mike Adenuga as chairman. Emerald Energy Resources Limited granted OML 141 on August 10, 2001 for five years has as directors J.O Amaefule, P. L. Caldwell, A.C Uzoigwe, Amos NUR, C. N. Chieri, Femi Akingbe, F. A, Njoku with Emmanuel Egbogah as chairman. OrantoPetr Limited granted OPL 320 March 2002 for 10 years has Arthur Eze as chairman. Dajo Oil Limited granted OPL 320 for 20 years on March 23, 2004, has as directors R.B. Domingo, M.O Domingo, UR. Domingo with Domingo Obande as chairman. Malabu, granted OPL 245 has Dan Etete as chairman. Orient Energy granted OPL 915 and 916 has N. Nwawka as director and Emeka Anyaoku as chairman. Sahara Energy Exploration granted OPL 284, 228 and 332 in 2005 and 2006 has Buba Lawal, Cole Tonye and Odunsi Ade as directors. Enageed Resources Limited granted OPL 274 in 2007 has Buba Lawal, Cole Tonye and Odunsi Ade as directors.

Seplat granted OPL 4, 38and 41 in 2010 with ABC Orjiako and Austin Avuru as directors. Ekcrest E &P Limited was granted OPL 40 in 2012 with Emeka Offor as chairman. First Hydrocarbon was granted OPL 26 in 2011 with O. A. Azazi as chairman. Neconde was granted OPL 42 in 2011 with Amesi Azudialu, John Umeh and Nnnena Obiejesi as directors. Niger Delta Western was granted OPL 34 in 2012 with Olayiwola Fatona, David Richards, P.O. Balogun and T. Omisore as directors. Newcross Petroleum granted OPL 276 with Prince Sijuade and Bolaji Ogundare as directors. Transcorp granted OPL 281 in 2011 with Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Femi Otedola, Funso Lawal, Jacob Ajekigbe, Tony Ezenna, Ndi Onyiuke Okereke, Fola Adeola and Nicholas Okoye as directors. Starcrest, Cross River Energy and NPDC granted OPL 242 in 2011 with Emeka Offor and Chris Garuba as directors. Starcrest granted OPL 291 with Emeka Offor, Gidado Idris and Yzoni Yaw as directors. South Atlantic (SAPETRO) granted OPL 246 (130) for 20 years on February 22, 1998 has Miguel Guerrero, Joy Ikiebe and Guerrrero as directors with T.Y. Danjuma as chairman.

OANDO granted OPL 278/236 in 2005and 2006 has Magoro, J. A Tinubu, O. Boyo, M.O Osunsanya, O. Adeyemo, O. Akpata, Oba Gbadebo, A. Peppe and Appiah Korang as directors. Ashbert granted OPL 325 has Albert Esiri and Ifeoma Esiri as directors.

Oil World granted OPL 241 in 2007 has Gbenga Olawepo, Adekunle Akintola, Ibukun Olawepo and Rachael Akintola as directors. Pan Ocean granted OPL 98/275 in 1976 and 2007 has F. A Fadeyi, M.D. Yusuf and S.D Adebiyi as directors. Cleanwater Consortium granted OPL 289 in 2007 with Arumeni-Ikhide Joseph, Okey Nzenwa and Abu Ibrahim as directors. Afren Global Energy Resources granted OPL 907/917 I 2005and 2008 with Rilwan Lukman, Osmah Shahenshah, Evert Jan Mulder, Peter Bingham, Guy Pass, Bet Cooper, Constantine and Egbert Imomoh as directors. Centrica/CCC/All Bright Consortium granted OPL 276 and 283 in 2005 and 2006 has Jake Mirica and John Sheers as directors.

Gas Transmission and Power Limited granted OPL 905 in 2005 has Ahmed Joda, Babangida Hassan Katsina, Makoji Aduku and Abubakar Joda as directors. Global Energy Company Limited granted OPL 135 in 2005 and 2010 has S.A Onabiyi, M.A Koshoni, T.T Anyasho and J.N Obiago as directors. New Nigeria Development Company granted OPL 733, 809, 810 and 722 has Northern States Governors as directors. Tenoil Petroleum Energy Services Limited granted OPL 2008 in 2007 has Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Femi Otedola, Jacob Ajekigbe, Tony Ezenna, Ndi Okereke Onyiuke, Fola Adela, Funso Lawal and Nicholas Okoye as directors with Tony Elumelu as chairman.

Before I throw in a few words on the foregoing, it is important to reveal also who the License Shareholders in our Marginal fields are: Niger Delta company was granted the Ogbele field (OML 54) in 1999 with Aret Adams, Uduimo Itsueli, Sammy Olagbaju, David Richard, Udi Ibru and Fatona Layi as shareholders. Prime Petroleum Limited and Suffolk Petroleum Limited (in ratio 51/49) have Asaramaroru field (OML 11) granted in 2003 with MacPepple Henry, Macpepple Joy, Macpepple Emmanuel, Macpepple Elfrida and Macpepple Victoria as shareholders. Oriental Energy has Owok field (OML 67) granted in 2006 with Alhaji Indimi and Usman Danburran as shareholders. The same company also has Ebok field awarded in 2007. Universal Energy has Stubb Creek field (OML 13/14) with Amana Nkoyo, Mianaekere Nelson, Abubakar Hayatu, Mboho Emmanuel, Ekpo Akpan, Inyang Etim (Akwa Ibom govt) awarded in 2003.

Uerafric Energy Limited has Dawes Island field (OML 54), granted in 2003 with Onoh Anthony, Onoh Christiana, Onoh Ngozi, George Udoekong and Nwauche Erastus as shareholders. Pillar Oil Limited has Umusati/Igbuku field (OMOL 56) since 2003 with Onosode G. O., Fadahunsi O., Amakiri J. Hassan-Katsina Usman, Tonwe Basife, Obaseki Godwin, Akpoyomare Ambrose, Fisher Abayomi, Anaekwena Anthony, Avuru Spencer, Onosode Spencer and Hassan-Katsina Babangida as shareholders. Bayelsa Oil Company Limited has Atala field (OML 46) with Bayelsa Government, Brigidi David, Alamieyesheiga Anitonbrapa, Ifimain Ekine, Jonathan Selereipre, Enddeley Francis, Chitwetelu Chris, Williams E. J and Aliyu Abubakar as shareholders. Movideo E & P has Ekeh field (OML 88) with Idau Sadiq, Jacobs Kayode, Enahoro Victor, Mohammed Aishatu, Tuggar Yusuf, Okwuaive Iyabo, and Sadare Roymand as shareholders.

Bicta Energy has Ogedeh field (OML 90) with Adesemowo G. A, Bashir MM, Onumodu Soye, Akinro C. A, Malherbe T and Umejei T as shareholders. Guarantee Petroleum and Owena Oil and Gas have Ororo field, (OML 95) in ratio 55/45 with Rufus Giwa, Ayodele Johnson, Fayose Abiodun, Unuigbe Odion, Omobomi Samuel, Rotimi Luyi, Adefarati Tunde, Duyie Korede, Ojo Segun, Ogedengbe Dele, Aidi Abass, Adegbonmire Wunmi, Amoye Mofiso, Ebiseni Sola, Oladunni Solomon, Agoi-George Segun, Akinruntan F.E, Hassan AlGazali, Eburajolo Victor and S.A Ajayi as shareholders. Platform Petroleum Limited has Egboma field (OML 38) with Edmund Daukoru, Avuru Austin, Amachi Moshe, Adegoke Oluwafeyisola, Addo-Bayero Nasir and Ewendu Chidi as shareholders.

Sogenal Limited has Akepo field (OML 90) with Funso Lawal, Joda Abubakar, Harriman Hope, Odu Bunmi, Edohoeket Samuel, Yahaya Mohammed, Dada Nicholas and Yelllowe Kenneth as shareholders. Chorus Energy has Amoji field (OML 56) with Akerele Chris, Mamman Samaila, Ihetu G. S. Braide Kombo, Banks Nigel, Clubb James, Uhuegbulem Ben and Baba Gana Abba as shareholders. Millennium Oil and Gas has Oza field (OML 11) with Alli Chris, Maseli John, Karra Sastry, Shama Yogi, Igweze Emeka and Bashir Farouk as shareholders. Brittania U-Nigeria has Ajapa field (OML 90) with Ifejika Uju, Ifejika Emmanuel, Omu Paul, Otiji Igwe, Ikpeme Ita, Cardoso Tokie, Okonkwo Annie, Inua Mogaji, Mbanefo Louis, Ombu AVM, Horsfall A. K, Ukpong Uche, Ogoro Emomena, Ifejika E.I., Umar Alhaji and Ikpele A. O.

Network E & P has Qua Ibo field (OML 13) with Ajose Adeogun Ladi, Adesomoju Akin, Alex-Duduyemi Oyekunle, Adewusi Adebowale, Ifode Yeletide, Gusau Ismaila Musa, John Etop and Olagbede Olufemi as shareholders. Waltersmith Petroman and Morris Petroleum have Ibigwe field (OML 16) in ratio 70/30 with Isa Abdulrasak, Saleh Danjuma, Utomvie Nyingi, Ita Princess, Okoli Ndubuisi, Kakpovie Anthony, Okpala Eugene, Idrisu Mammudu, Idrisu Lawal, Isokrari Ombo, Nzeakor Nick, Abdulsalami Abdul and Nwabudo Ignatius as shareholders. Midwesterm Oil and Gas and Suntrust Oil Company have the Umsadege field (OML 56) in ratio 70/30 with Igbokwe Ken, Afejuku Anthony, Daultry Akpeki, Sagoe Kweku-Mensah, Gambo Lawan, Oshevire William, Mordi Sylvanus, Maidoh Daniel, Fatayi-Williams Babatunde, Mohammed Waziri, Emerhor Otega, Dublin-Green Winston, Mohammed Abubakar, Oduah Stella, Okafor Ugo and Baba-Ahmed Mouftah as directors.

Independent Energy Limited has Ofa field (OML 30) with Ikelionwu Emeka, Ohunmwangho Steve, Yar’Adua Murtala, Okudu Anthony, Bello Shamsudeen, Obaoye Michael and Monanuma Said as shareholders. Del Sigma has KE field (OML 55) with Amachree Sokeiprim, Ungbuku K.D., Bakut J.I and Chaff Kabiru as shareholders. Associated Oil and Gas and Dansaki Petroleum Unlimited have Tom Shot Bank field (OML 14) in ratio 51/49 with Machunga Laraba, Gwadah Bitrus, Balat Isaiah, Uzor Azuka, Ibok Udo, Uzoechi Isaac, Kadiri Samuel, Afolabi Aderenle and Aina Yinka as shareholders. Frontier Oil Limited has Uquo field (OML 13) with Dada Thomas, Lolomari Odoliyi, Kolade Victor, Yisa Solomon, Nwasikeobi, Alechenu Emmanuel and Bello Falalu as shareholders.

Energia Limited and Oando Production and Development Limited have Ebendo/Obodeti field (OML 56) in ratio 55/45 with Horsfall A. U, Aribeana Stephen, Shawley Coker, Bello Lawal, Ene Emeka, Afolabi Ade, Coker Sam, Esiri Albert, Dibiaezue Ifeoma, Hammed Charles, Macgregor Olushola and OANDO as shareholders. Goland Petroleum Development Company has Oriri field (OML 88) with Kingsley Ngelale, Mogaji Gambo, Slako Johnson and Anthony Dotimi as shareholders. Excel Exploration and Production has Eremor field (OML 46) with Abiodun Awosika as shareholder. Sahara Energy and African Oil and Gas Limited have Tsekelewu field (OML 40) in ratio 70/30 with Baba Lawal, Cole Tonye, Odunsi Ade, Adeniji Titi, Akinla Ladipo, Bentley John, Ciroma Musa, Odili Obi F. and Du-Frayer Trevor as shareholders. Green Energy International Limited has Otakikpo field with A. A. Olojede as shareholder while All Grace Energy granted Ubima field (OML 46) has Adeola Adenikinju and Sola Alabi as shareholders.

It is noteworthy that some players register different companies for different acreages, sometimes also with different sets of shareholders. But in terms of operations, it stands to reason that some of these licenses may have expired, been cancelled or are even never operated at all. Also, it is obvious that some of the listed shareholders of these companies are now deceased. Beside all these, that someone is chairman of a company doesn’t make him the biggest shareholder. The case of AMNI credited to former Kano military governor of Kano State, Col. Sani Bello (rtd), is a case in point. “The fact that I am the chairman does not mean I own AMNI. I don’t even have up to 20 percent in the company”, he said.

Now, before anybody accuses me of leaving out some big players let us not forget Atiku Abubakar, whose stakes in INTELs rake in substantial returns for him; Jide Omokore’s multimillion Dollar Atlantic Energy’s “Strategic Alliance Agreement” and Phillip Iheanacho’s Seven Energy etc. These fall within a different category of those who may not be direct field owners yet make stupendous money from the sector.

“Oil acreage ownership in Nigeria does not have ethnic colouration. What’s more important, sustaining production from oil and gas assets, whether or not awarded by the state, is determined by how much of a businessman you are…,” argues Mr. Toyin Akinosho (a geologist and publisher who is perhaps the biggest authority in the media on our oil industry). His well-circulated paper on the issue has helped to put in perspective several of the assumptions in the sector. Of course my figure of 276,000 BOPD production for indigenous companies contrasts with his 150,000 BOPD but that is essentially because he probably tallied only figures from private companies without adding those from government-owned.

What I, however, find interesting is the misdirected anger against indigenous operators in general. As we know, there are some who got licences by patronage and through the much-abused discretionary powers. But there is also a growing list of companies that have won these acreages competitively, in spite of the unwillingness of the state to make access to licences open, transparent and competitive. That is why some of us clamour for a new regime that will strip the sector of its opaqueness and monumental corruption.

Even at that, in an industry replete with commission agents and all manner of pimps, we need more daring and bold businessmen like Dr Mike Adenuga (Jnr) who, among  the more than 20 Nigerian business men (across ethnic lines) granted discretionary awards between 1991 and 1993 is actually the only one who set up an enduring E&P company and operated his own block. Others looked for help from outside. Like he has done in the telecoms sector with Globacom, Adenuga has proved that there is no business that a Nigerian cannot venture into and succeed. He may be a very small player in the oil sector but there is national pride in what he has achieved.

All said, viewing PIB from an ethnic lens is unproductive, especially against the background that the real moving forces behind the law, as I pointed out in my book on the Yar’Adua years, are Dr Rilwanu Lukman and Mallam Nasir el-Rufai through the Oil and Gas Reform Implementation Committee (OGIC) initiated in 2000. The duo deserve commendation. Of course, Mr Odein Ajumogobia, Mr Mohammed Barkindo, Dr Egbogah and now Mrs Alison-Madueke, have taken their efforts further but this legislation is about repositioning our oil and gas sector so our country can derive maximum benefit.

By consolidating the existing 16 Laws regulating our petroleum industry, the essence of the PIB is captured in its explanatory summary: “This Act provides for a legal, fiscal and regulatory framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry and establishes institutions, regulatory and commercial entities for the proper administration and coordination of the operation of the upstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry as well as providing for the imposition, assessment and collection of the Nigerian Hydrocarbon tax”.

What the Senators (whether from the North or the South) must therefore know is that the PIB, when eventually passed into law, has the potentials to radically alter the landscape in our oil and gas industry, while unlocking the opportunities for the sustainable development of the industry and the overall economy. This will be good for us all.

Power, Politics & Death
I have since December last year been inundated by requests for the original copies of my book on the Yar’Adua years. I am happy to announce that a new consignment arrived the country last weekend and there are copies again. Interested buyers should direct their requests to [email protected] (08077364217; 017406741) . They can also go to this blog post for all information: http://farafinabooks.wordpress.com/

Read the original piece in THISDAY



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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