The Department of Petroleum Resources (DRP) has ignored calls to identify Anambra, Enugu, and Kogi states as oil-producing regions in Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude oil producer.
Members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), chaired by Taiwo Alasoadura (APC, Ondo), had questioned the timeframe of exploration activities in these regions, as Orient Petroleum which was given the licence to explore crude oil since 2012 is yet to begin work.
This drew criticism from Senator Chukwuka Utazi, from Enugu State, whose senatorial district is affected. Utazi accused DPR of not compelling the oil company to do its duties within the past seven years.
The committee proceeded to demand an explanation from DPR as to why it has failed to take action against the company.
Why DPR is yet to identify these states as oil producers: Meanwhile, Orient Petroleum is yet to meet certain requirements, DPR told the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) in a letter.
The licence given to Orient Petroleum enables the company to explore crude oil in the Oil Prospecting Licences (OPLs) 915 and 916. However, the company has been unable to convert the OPL to Oil Mining Licence (OML), which is a key requirement in recognising a place as an oil-producing area.
This has consequently delayed the recognition of Anambra state, Enugu state, and Kogi state as oil-producing states for now, Alasoadura read during a meeting with officials of the National Boundary Commission (NBC).
Meanwhile, 50 percent of Orient Petroleum activities is expected to be relinquished after the conversion. In the meantime, none of that has been done, as the company is still carrying out test-runs in the discovery areas.
About Orient Petroleum: Orient Petroleum Resources Plc (OPR) is one of the 18 successful private companies, out of 65 applicants, that were granted the License to Establish refineries in Nigeria in May 2002.
In February 2004, OPR became the first Nigerian company to obtain an Authority to Construct license from the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to construct a private petroleum refinery in Nigeria.
OPR was also granted two petroleum prospecting license blocks by the FGN, to provide a dependable source of crude oil feedstock to the Orient Refinery and thus provide long-term security for the investment in the refinery.
OPR has four (4) subsidiaries including;
(i) OPR-Refining & Petrochemicals Plc,
(ii) OPR-E&P Company Limited,
(iii) OPR-Gas & Power Company Limited and
(iv) OPR-Infrastructure and Services Company Limited
OPR embarked on the development of oil and gas production from its oil blocks to secure feedstock for its refinery.