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OPL 245: Nigeria moves to restore exploration of Malabu oil well – NUPRC

OPL 245: Nigeria moves to restore exploration of Malabu oil well – NUPRC

The Nigerian government has expressed its readiness restore the production of the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, also known as Malabu Oil Well, in order to boost Nigeria’s crude oil output.

Meanwhile, Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI), on Monday, suspended arbitration regarding an oilfield dispute with the Nigerian government, buying time to hold a conversion on the licence from prospecting to mining, according to a Reuter’s source.

The suspension is coming barely three days after Nigeria withdrew civil claims totalling $1.1 billion against Eni related to allegations of corruption in the OPL 245 deal.

The Nigerian government is now ready to benefit from what is considered one of the juiciest oil blocks in Africa, the controversial OPL 245, for the first time in 25 years in a bid to ramp up Nigeria’s oil production output.

The oil block is estimated to hold over nine billion barrels of crude oil, nearly a quarter of the nation’s total proven oil reserves.

Confirming this report, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulation Commission (NUPRC) said the federal government is open to the restoration of the Malabu Oil well.

Leadership  quoted the head, Public Affairs and Communications, NUPRC, Mrs Olaide Shonola, to have said, “The FGN is open to the restoration of the Malabu Oil well.

“However more information will be provided after court proceedings have been completed and no longer subjudice.”

Eni, on its part, has confirmed the suspension of the arbitration regarding OPL 245 oilfield at the World Bank’s dispute settlement body.

“Eni … has agreed with the Federal Government of Nigeria to mutually and temporarily suspend the arbitration proceedings in order to discuss with the government the necessary steps for achieving the conversion of the licence from prospecting into mining (extraction),” an Eni spokesperson told Reuters.

 

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