The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has revoked five Oil Mining Licences (OML) and one Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) belonging to five companies.
In a public notice issued on Thursday by the regulatory body, the revocation was based on a presidential directive to “recover legacy debts” owed by the companies operating the licences.
The five companies affected are: Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (OML 98); Allied Energy Resources Nigeria (OML 120 and 121); Express Petroleum and Gas Company (OML 108); Cavendish Petroleum Nigeria (OML 110) and Summit Oil International (OPL 206)
Summit Oil is owned by the family of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Pan Ocean hopes to commence the production of oil and gas from OML-147 at Owa Aladima.
OML 147 is the first to be on production among the 2007 bid rounds.
The former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, had last February announced plans to recover the oil licences of the companies indebted to it.
He expressed worry that some of the companies had failed to make statutory remittances in spite of being in Joint Venture (JV) with the Federal Government, a development he said was denying it revenue running into billions of dollars.