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Buhari orders full takeover of OML 11 from Shell

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the re-entry of oil production in Ogoniland as well as full takeover of operatorship of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

OML 11, which lies in the south-eastern Niger Delta and contains 33 oil and gas fields, is one of the most important blocs in Nigeria in terms of production.

The President, who gave the order in a restricted memo to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) exclusively obtained by New Telegraph yesterday, gave the corporation a May 2 deadline to confirm the execution of the takeover order.

The memo, dated March 1, 2019 with reference number SH/COS/24.A/8540, was signed by Chief of Staff of the President, Abba Kyari.

“Kindly note that the President has (a) Directed NNPC/NPDC to take over the operatorship from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of the entire OML 11 not later than 30 April, 2019 and ensure smooth re-entry given the delicate situation in Ogoniland.

“(b) Directed NNPC/NPDC to confirm by 2 May 2019 of the assumption of the operatorship,” the memo read.

Titled: “Operatorship of Entire Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11,” the memo was internally shared among the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Group Executive Directors (GEDs) and Group General Managers with the NNPC headquarters.

It was received by the GMD through his office on March 4, 2019 and he directed the memo to be discussed on crucial meeting of top management staff last Wednesday

A stamp of the NPDC on the memo, New Telegraph also gathered, showed that the document was also received by the NPDC Liaison office on March 5, 2019.

Shell is yet to comment on the matter.

The takeover is, however, against the earlier stand by traditional rulers in Ogoniland who have made a U-turn to endorse an indigenous oil firm, RoboMicheal Limited, to commence operation in the Ogoni oilfield.

The Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers and the Conference of Ogoni Traditional Rulers jointly gave the endorsement as its resolution reached at the end of a meeting of the 27-members of the Council held in the palace of its chairman, King Godwin Giniwa in Korokoro, Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The Ogoni traditional council, which represents the 27 monarchs in the kingdoms and communities of Ogoni, said the endorsement of RoboMicheal Limited was imperative as the company has been engaging with the people and already had obtained the operatorship license for OML11 from the Federal Government