The federal government yesterday renewed the Oil Mining Lease 67, 68 and 70 of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)and Mobil Producing Nigeria Joint Venture for the next 20 years.
The NNPC/MPN OML 67, 68 and 70 which has been operational in the past 20 years, is the most prolific field in Nigeria onshore shallow waters with a daily output of 500,000 barrels of crude.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, while speaking during the lease signing ceremony in Abuja, expressed government’s commitment to the growth and development of the oil and gas industry.
According to her, the lease renewal marked another milestone in the country’s hydrocarbon industry in accordance with the criticality of government’s statutory right in holding oil and gas assets in particular with the implication in investment decisions and on major project delivery.
In her words, “I am particularly delighted to welcome you all as we formally renew shallow onshore Oil Mining Leases 67, 68 and 70 for the NNPC, Mobil Producing Nigeria joint venture.
"I am delighted that after a lengthy process both parties have arrived at what they consider a mutually fair agreement in which to work together for another 20 years.”
She explianed that the lease renewals were in accordance with paragraph 10 and 13 of the first schedule of the Petroleum Act of 1969 cap V 10, adding that all other pending renewal leases would be expeditiously handled.
She further expressed the hope that the renewal would encourage other investors in the industry to renew their commitment to the growth and development of the industry with emphasis on gas- based industries.
Commenting on the development, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Austen Oniwon, revealed that the renewal of all outstanding leases would be completed before the end of March this year.
He said the lease renewals were as par existing laws, noting that when the PIB is passed, re-negotiations and amendments would be done by all parties involved.
In his remark, the Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Nigeria, Mr. Mark Ward, expressed his company’s determination to continue to contribute to the growth of the country’s hydrocarbon resources for the benefit of the economy.