The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is to take over the operatorship of the entire Oil Mining Lease, OML, 11 from Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.
The directive was given by President Muhammadu Buhari via a letter to the Group Managing Director, NNPC, signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
The letter indicated that the OML should be taken over by the NNPC/Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, not later than April 30, 2019.
NPDC is the flagship oil exploration and production subsidiary of the NNPC. The letter read in part, “Kindly note that the President has directed NNPC/NPDC to take over the operatorship, from Shell Petroleum Development Company, of the entire OML 11 not later than 30 April 2019, and ensure smooth re-entry given the delicate situation in Ogoniland.”
The letter also stated that the President has “directed NNPC/NPDC to confirm by 2 May, 2019, of the assumption of the operatorship.” OML 11 lies in the southeastern Niger Delta and contains 33 oil and gas fields of which eight are producing as per 2017.
In terms of production, OML 11 is one of the most important blocks in Nigeria. The terrain is swampy to the south with numerous rivers and creeks. Port Harcourt is located in the northwest of the block, while the major yard and logistics the Bonny River locates base at Onne. The Bonny oil terminal, the largest in Nigeria – and Nigeria LNG are both located in Bonny.