Senate urges commission to return Atala Marginal Oil field to owners

Atala Marginal Oil field

THE Senate has urged the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC )to restore the Atala Marginal Oil field (OML 46) to its former owners.

The Chairman of Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Sen. Ayo Akinyelure, said this at an investigative hearing on Thursday in Abuja.
He said although President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that the oil field be reallocated to the original owners, the commission has refused to obey the order.

The chairman also expressed disappointment over the non appearance of both NUPRC and the beneficiary, Halkin Oil at the hearing.

“We have invited them severally and again, they have not been able to come before Nigerians and prove that the allocation of Atala Oil to Halkin is justified before the law and before humans.

“The position of this particular committee in the last sitting was that, we want the NUPRC to provide evidence before this committee today, to inform our decision on whether to support the position of NUPRC or not.

“The Nigerian Senate has asked the NUPRC to provide a written evidence that the President has reversed his own order.

“It has not been heard anywhere allover the world that, when the President gives a presidential order, a civil servant would go ahead and reverse it without a written permission from the President.

“So, we are not convinced by the report of the NUPRC and we make bold to say the NUPRC has been misinformed to allocate Atala Oil to a private limited liability company, when Mr. President had given a presidential Order that they should give considerations to former owners of 10 Oil fields,” he said.

He added:”Today we are here, but we can’t see NUPRC, we can’t even see the MD of Halkin Oil to show us the President’s Order that reversed his earlier order.

“This committee therefore, resolved as follows: that the revocation and allocation of Atala Oil is hereby declared void; that Atala Oil should be returned to its original owners, in line with the Presidential Order; that the NUPRC should carry out the Presidential Order immediately.”(NAN)