Global oil giant, Aiteo has slammed Anglo-Dutch company, Shell, with a $2.5bn lawsuit over claims made by the former in the sale of the OML 29.
Recall that Shell and its joint venture partners sold all their undivided 45% equity in OML 29 to Aiteo sometime in 2014 for the sum of $2.4 billion which assets Shell said included the Nembe Creek Trunk Line and the Marginal Oil Fields, among others.
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court on July 27, 2021, plaintiff claimed that Defendant, Shell which was the operator of the OML called for bids for the undivided 45% interest which is held with its partners Total and AGIP.
Aiteo claimed that relying and acting on the Information Memorandum published and managed by Shell made its winning bid believing that the content of the Information Memorandum was correct, comprehensive, and factual regarding the nature, location, operatorship, and viability of the entire facility.
In the agreement signed at the sale of the facility, Shell listed oil well in the OML to include Kugbo West 1-4 and Okiori Nos. 93-94 and further warranted that all statements and claims in the agreement are factul that the oil wells were part of what was transferred to Aiteo and were not encumbered in any way as no third party had any right to interfere in their operations and ownership of the oil wells.
Aiteo, however, stated that despite all the claims made by a Shell, sometime in 2020, upon its intention to commence work at the wells found out that they had earlier been re-conveyed back to NNPC by Shell without informing Aiteo and still went ahead to sell what did not belong to it to Aiteo and knowing that the well no longer belonged to it.
While Shell sold OML 29 with the oil wells to Aiteo in 2014, it had in 2009 re-conveyed the oil wells to NNPC.
Shell has also now awarded those oil wells to another company which has also paid for it thereby exposing the fact that Shell did not truly own the oil wells which it purportedly sold to Aiteo.
It will be recalled that AITEO had earlier filed another suit against Shell claiming that it claimed that the Nembe Creek Trunk Line which is also sold to Aiteo in the same transaction was recently refurbished but upon full acquisition, the company noticed that the Trunk Line was in a dilapidated stated with multiple leakages thereby causing AITEO huge losses which it asked the Court to award compensations for.
Aiteo also alleged that through the deployment of an unapproved metering system at the Bonny terminal, Shell had also taken about 16 million barrels of crude oil belonging to the company.
There have been several other allegations against Shell in its transaction against AITEO with regards to the sale of OML 29 which had portrayed the Anglo-Dutch company as not being sincere in its dealings.
In the present suit, AITEO is claiming among other reliefs the sum of $2,135,250,000:00 as the amount it would have derived from the sale of the 73, 000,000 barrels of oil estimated to be in the wells or the alternative the sum of $99, 000, 000 which is paid for the wells and interest which would have accrued on the sum and interest at the rate of 22% from October 2014 when it paid for the Wells.
Aiteo is further claiming $52,863,820:82 which it would have earned over the life of the oil wells, general damages of $500, 000:00 arising from the fraud, deceit, and misrepresentations, and cost of the action at N250,000,000:00.