Eroton rejects NNPC’s take-over of Oloilfield, MD unveils next move


Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited has sued Sahara and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited for a breach of contract pertaining to Oil Mining License (OML) 18.

The NNPC had removed Eroton as operator of OML 18 after the oilfield failed to produce crude in the last two years.

The OML18 was pumping 6,000 barrels of crude oil per day in 2015, but its output level rose to over 50,000 bpd of crude two years after.

NNPC said it replaced Eroton with NNPC Eighteen Operating Limited in a bid to return the oilfield to production, but Eroton said OML 18, not producing, was not its fault.

Responding to reports that the NNPC had discontinued the Joint Business Agreement with Eroton, the company’s Managing Director, Emeka Onyeka, said the government’s oil corporation didn’t follow due process.

Onyeka reiterated that Eroton remained the operator of OML18 and the report of removal should be disregarded.

“The company as the operator of OML-18, remains committed to transparency, integrity, and due process, and urged the public and stakeholders to disregard any misinformation as we continue to operate in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations,” Eroton’s boss said on Wednesday.

He stated further: “In complete breach of the terms of the Joint Operating Agreement governing OML-18, and with total disregard for due process, the non-operators of OML-18; NNPC Limited and Sahara Field Production Limited (Sahara) (now known as OML 18 Energy Resource Limited) appointed a company, NNPC Eighteen Operating Limited as operator of OML-18,”

Onyeka explained that the “process is designed in such a way that notices requirements cannot be waived and the removal of operatorship cannot be carried out without following the process provided in the JOA.”

The NNPC and Sahara had received an arbitration notice.

“Eroton has issued Notice of Arbitration to NNPC and Sahara in accordance with the terms contained in the JOA.

“On the basis of the lack of any grounds for the purported takeover of operatorship in accordance with the terms of the JOA governing the block, lack of due process and flagrant breach of the rule of law,” the MD said. (PBA)

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