We do not have anything to do with $25M paid by Indian Firm for Oil block writes Ohi Alegbe, the group general manager, group public affairs division of the NNPC
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has condemned the linking of its name with the failed bid by an Indian company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp-Mittal Energy Limited, to acquire an oil block and the consequent non-refund of the signature bonus it paid for the deal.
The Corporation, in a statement made available to journalists, explained that the reports linking it with the transaction showed a high level of ignorance on how the oil and gas industry in Nigeria works and therefore wishes to clarify as follows:
“Our attention has been drawn to the repeated reports linking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation with the failed attempt by a certain Indian company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp-Mittal Energy Limited (OMEL), to acquire an oil block during the 2006/2007 oil bid round and the consequent failure to get a refund of the funds it committed to the deal.
“We wish to clarify that NNPC is not the statutory body saddled with the responsibility of organizing bid rounds and so could not have received the alleged amount of $25 million or any payment from OMEL for the transaction.
“We find the deliberate attempt to drag NNPC into the various allegations surrounding the transaction as mischievous and unfortunate. We urge those who are interested in the story to seek clarification with the relevant agencies responsible for conducting bid rounds and to whom OMEL may have paid the alleged fee”
There is the N5.2billion ($25m) cash paid by an Indian firm for an oil block nine years ago? This is the puzzle security and anti-graft agencies have been trying to unravel since the Indian High Commission’s alleged failure to get back the money.
The blocks were auctioned on May 12, 2007, about 19 days to the expiration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure.
Ten of the firms won 12 oil blocks at a cost of about $228million.
The firms and amounts paid are: Essar Energy Exp and Prod(Block 226)—$18.5million; Monipulo(Block 231)—$17,999.980million; Conoil(Block 290:—$49,999,975million; Global Energy Coy Limited (Blocks 2009 and 2010)—$11,499,949million; Continental Oil(Block 2007)—$54, 999,982million; Sterline Globl Oil Res(Blocks 2005 and 2006)——$5,150,000million; and Bayelsa Oil Coy(Block 240)—$5,599,949million.
Others are Abbey Court/Coscharis (Block 293) $50,167,510million; Deltagate/ Petrodel (Block 258) $12,500,000million: and Sahara Energy (Block 228) —$2,500,000.