Aftermath of Kyari’s Death: Sahara Energy Intensify Efforts to Retain Controversial 28,000 Barrels per Day OML 11 Oil Block.

Business Headlines

… Lobby’s Mamman Daura’s Son.

Following the untimely death of Malam Abba Kyari, Chief of staff to President Mohammadu Buhari, Sahara Energy, one of the indigenous oil companies that was secretly awarded the controversial OML 11 oil bloc has started moves to solidify ownership of the 28,000 barrels per day oil bloc.

The move, according to insiders, is aimed at preventing the revocation of the OML11, should a new Chief of Staff who is also likely to become the Chairman of the Board of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, emerges

Kyari, was the Chairman of the NNPC Board and he played major roles in the activities of the oil company.

Late Kyari had in a leaked memo to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, dated March 1, 2019, with reference number SH/COS/24/A/8540 directed the nation’s apex oil concern through its upstream subsidiary Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to take over the entire operatorship of the crisis-ridden Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 not later than April 30, 2019 from Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.

The Oilfield operated by Shell under OML 11 since 1950s, and have laid idle in the southwestern axis of the Niger Delta region, since the Anglo-Dutch oil giant was forced out of Ogoni land in 1993 following long anti-Shell protests.

But a Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria on August 23, 2019, ordered the Minister of Petroleum Resources to grant the renewal of the Oil Mineral Lease (OML) 11 to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria for 20 years.

At the time the order was given, Shell was still processing the renewal of the OML 11 licence.

But sources told that the controversial OML 11 was secretly awarded to Sahara Energy where Kyari allegedly has an interest.

Sahara Energy Resource Limited, Nigeria, has a strong link to Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the ill-fated governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC  in the l2019 election, Tonye Cole, as a possible operator of the OML 11

According to sources who do not want to be named, Kyari was allegedly granted a blind trust in Sahara Energy as well as some other indigenous oil companies he used his position as Chief of staff to grant favors.

Sources disclosed that, as soon as Kyari passed away from Coronavirus infection, top leadership of Sahara Energy started making overtures within the Presidency to find a way of holding tightly to controversial oil bloc. They were linked to Mohammed Mamma Daura, son of Mamman Daura. Presidency sources hinted that Mamman Daura Jnr has now reached a deal with Sahara Energy to take them to his father, Mamma Daura, and find a way of protecting their interests in OML 11. He is alleged to have been assured a high stake in the indigenous oil company should the deal succeeds.

Shell was also, at the time, in negotiations with the Nigerian multi-sectoral company Transcorp, to sell its stakes in the lease to the latter, in the event of the renewal. Some other Nigerian and international companies were considering raising the $1Billion invoice that Shell had presented to Transcorp, for its stakes in OMLs 11 and 17, until Mr. Kyari laid down the gauntlet.

OML is located in Ogoniland, in the heart of the Niger Delta, where environmental and human rights controversies have prevented Shell Petroleum Development Company from operating over the years.

Oil Mining Lease (OML 11) lies in the south-eastern Niger Delta and contains 33 oil and gas fields. In terms of production, it is one of the most important blocks in Nigeria as the terrain is swamp to the south with numerous rivers and creeks (Ogoniland).

Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, had in a statement voiced its “unequivocal rejection of Sahara Energy and all other schemers, including Shell, NPDC/NNPC, Belema Oil and Robo Michael for the Ogoni oilfields, until the fundamental demands of the Ogoni people are properly negotiated.”