Oil block: No more lawsuits – NNPC warns Shell after court win

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has warned Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to stop further lawsuits regarding Oil Mining License 11 (OML 11).

The caution followed the Court of Appeal judgment which affirmed NNPC’s operatorship of OML 11.

Last week in Abuja, the court upturned the August 23, 2019 ruling of the Federal High Court which held that Shell was entitled to the renewal of the lease on OML 11.

The appellate court ruled that the Minister of Petroleum Resources has the discretion whether or not to renew the OML 11 Lease in favor of SPDC.

The court said the Minister rightly exercised discretion in awarding the OML 11 Lease to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the NNPC.

General Manager, NNPC Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad, described the judgment as a huge victory for the country.

In a statement, the spokesman said the development marked the beginning of the resolution of decades of host communities’ restiveness.

Muhammad quoted the NNPC Managing Director, Mele Kyari, as saying the NPDC can now lead a formidable OML 11 team towards bolstering productivity in a responsible, efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable manner.

The corporation noted that the resumption of operations on OML 11 will demonstrate the NPDC’s full commitment to develop and add value to its communities and the nation as a whole.

The NPDC has taken over the assets and is working closely with all stakeholders and partners to achieve the new vision of “responsible, smart engineering and environmental sustainability”.

Kyari assured that the NPDC will promote clean energy via its gas production with prospects of gas-to-power initiatives to “light up opportunities in the region,” and provide the much deserved industrialization.

He said the environment will be a top priority and hinted at the implementation of a robust host community engagement strategy to address subsisting issues.

It was about time Nigeria derived the benefit of the OML11 after three decades and unlocked opportunities for economic development in the region, the GMD noted.

“In the light of their inability to work on the Ogoni region of the block for over 30 years and the new beginning this judgement presents, further legal action by Shell will not only be futile, it would be depriving Nigeria of an opportunity to make meaningful gains from OML 11 when the nation needs all the revenue it can get to move Nigeria forward,” Kyari added.

SPDC alleges sabotage after discovery of 51 operational leaks in N/Delta