Nigeria Revokes Licences of Six Oil Blocks
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The operating licences of six oil blocks in Nigeria, Africa’s largest producer of crude oil, have been revoked by government.
The affected oil blocks are the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 98 operated by Pan Ocean Oil Corporation, OML 120 and 121 operated by Allied Energy Resources Nigeria Limited, OML 108 operated by Express Petroleum & Gas Company Limited, OML 110 operated by Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria Limited, and Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 206 operated by Summit Oil International.
The notice announcing the revocation of the licences was published in newspapers on Thursday by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the agency in Nigeria saddled with the regulation of the petroleum sector.
In the notice, the DPR said the action was “in furtherance of the presidential directive” and was done as a result of “legacy debts.”
According to Reuters, the action comes as Nigeria takes a more aggressive approach to collecting taxes and royalties that the country says it is owed. Oil industry sources said Nigeria has also been increasingly vocal about rescinding licences that are not being actively developed.
It said a spokesman for the president declined to comment, while a petroleum ministry spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nigeria relies mainly on crude oil exports to generate revenue. However, since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015, he has made efforts to seek other areas of generating funds for the nation, including through taxes.