Four days after the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd renewed its Dispute Settlement/Lease Renewal Agreement with the oil majors, the National Oil Company on Tuesday signed the last of the 1993 Dispute Settlement Agreements and the renewal of the production sharing contract for Petroleum Mining Lease 125 with Nigerian Agip Exploration.
The deal was sealed at NNPC Ltd headquarters in Abuja.
Group Managing Director, NNPC Ltd Mele Kyari signed the agreements on behalf of the national oil company while Mr. Chacon Oswaldo signed on behalf of Agip.
OML 125 is located in the western Niger Delta, 40 kilometers offshore. It contains three fields: Abo, Abo North and Okodo. Abo entered service in 2003, becoming Nigeria’s first deepwater producer.
The pact with Agip follows last Friday’s five strategic agreements between NNPC and about eight oil majors in the country, which would unlock huge investments in the country’s oil and gas sector.
The agreements are Production Sharing Agreement, Dispute Settlement Agreements, Settlement Reimbursement Agreement, Escrow Agreement.
Some of the companies are Total Energy, Chevron, Shell, Esso Exploration, Synopec, Equino, Sapetro, Sinoc.
Speaking at Friday’s event, Kyari said the signing of the agreements was in line with NNPC’s plan to deepen investment with its partners in the oil and gas sector.
He said the new partnership would save Nigeria about $9 billion in contingent liabilities that have crystallized for the federation.
He said: “These companies had misunderstandings, which is a major issue for all of us, leading to arbitration and all sources of litigation.
“And of course by doing that it does two things, it tarnishes the relationship and more than anything else it stiffens the investment.
“We are happy and I understand very clearly that this will not have been possible unless you have some courage of leadership and we all have to give that credit to President Muhammadu Buhari who has agreed that we have to solve this from the start. friendliest way and in a way that benefits the country.
“The dispute settlement agreement will finally put in place the recognition of the production sharing contract and more than anything to put aside the debt extension disputes that we have with our partners and that’s over.”
He commended the agreement partners for the courage they have shown in ensuring that all disputes surrounding their operations in the oil and gas sector are resolved amicably.
The NNPC boss expressed his optimism that with the resolution of the issues, more investment will come into the country through the oil and gas sector.
“And I have to sincerely appreciate these gestures, it’s not a very common thing. And the understanding we have come to. This is the story of this country and we have to accept it and I believe very strongly on behalf of all of us at NNPC that with the signing of the DSA, every investment will come back because the uncertainties have been removed, from new investors will come in because of the terms of the petroleum industry laws that allow for cost recovery,” Kyari added.