Malabu Oil: Abacha’s Son Asks Court to Stop FG, Shell, Agip from Signing FID for $13.5bn Zabazaba Deep Water Project

A new dimension has been added to the scrambled for the lucrative Malubu Oil deal as Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, owned by late General Sani Abacha’s son, Mohammed, has approached a Federal High Court seeking an order of court stopping Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company and Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Limited from signing the Final Investment Decision (F.I.D) for the $13.5 billion Zabazaba Deep water Project located in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL245) in the second quarter of this year.
In the motion on notice marked FHC/ABJ/CS/201/2017, filed on Tuesday, Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd, is further asking for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Federal government and the Minister of Petroleum Resources from considering revoking the re- allocation of OPL 245 granted to the applicant by virtue of the 1st & 2nd defendants’ letter of July 2, 2010 pending the determination of this suit.
The suit filed by J.A. Achimugwu on behalf of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd was triggered by media publications to the effect that the Federal government, the minister petroleum Resources, Shell Nigeria Ultra-Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd are negotiating to “sign the Final Investment Decision (F.I.D) for the $14.5b Zabazaba Deep water Project located in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL 245) in the second quarter of this year.
Those listed as defendants in the suit are Federal government, the Minister Petroleum Resources, Shell Nigeria Ultra-Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd; Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Ltd; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Chief Dan Etete.
Already, Justice John Tsoho has fixed May 18, 2017 for the hearing of the motion.
Justice Tsoho also granted leave to the applicant to serve the writ of summons and other processes on Shell Nigeria Ultra-Deep Limited at No. 21 and 22 Marina Avenue, Lagos.
The plaintiff is further seeking an order of interlocutory injunction restraining each and all the defendants/respondents by themselves, their Servants or agents or howsoever otherwise from offering for sale, selling, mortgaging or in any form whatsoever alienate and / or grant any oil Prospecting Licence or lease to any other person or persons in respect of Zabazaba Deep water and /or Etan oil fields located within the area of the oil prospecting Licence 245 (OPL245) the subject matter of this suit pending the hearing and determination of this suit.
Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd is further asking for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 1st & 2nd defendants/respondents (Federal government and the Minister Petroleum Resources) by themselves, their Servants or agents or howsoever otherwise from entering into any form of agreement with the 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants/ Respondents or with any third parties to prospect for and / or explore for Oil/ petroleum products within the area covered by Zabazaba Deep water and /or Etan oil fields within the area covered by the oil prospecting Licence 245 (OPL245) the subject matter of this suit pending the hearing and determination of this suit.
An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 1st & 2nd defendants/respondents by themselves, their Servants or agents or howsoever otherwise from considering to revoke or revoking the re- allocation of OPL 245 granted to the applicant by virtue of the 1st & 2nd defendants’ letter of July 2, 2010 pending the determination of this suit.
In a 29 paragraphs affidavit, the plaintiff are claiming ownership ownership of oil Prospecting License 245 (OPL245) which was granted to it on April 29, 1998 and was re-allocated to it on July 2, 2010 by the Federal government and Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The plaintiff stated that its attention was drawn to a publication in Thisday “FG, Shell, Agip to sign FID for $13.5bn Zabazaba Deep water project in Q22017”
That by the said publication, the defendants are negotiating to “sign the Final Investment Decision (F.I.D) for $13.5b Zabazaba Deep water project located in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 in the second quarter of this year.”
That OPL 245 the subject matter of this suits which is pending, covers Zabazaba Deep water and /or Etan oil fields located within the area covered by the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL 245), there is the need for the preservation of the subject matter of this suit by an order of interlocutory injunction.
The plaintiff said it is obligated by the doctrine of lis pendens not to pass any title or interest in OPL 245 the subject matter of this suit, to any person or persons while this suit is pending for determination.
In a 29 paragraphs affidavit in support of the motion, deposed to by Mohammed Sani Abacha, Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd owns 50% of the share capital of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd and have been very much involved in the affairs of Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd.
Abacha narrated that Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd applied for Oil prospecting licence (OPL) and was granted same by the Minister Petroleum Resources (2nd respondent) on the April 29, 1998 via letter of the allocation of Oil Prospecting Licence OPL 245.
He also averred that in pursuance of the allocation of OPL 245 to the plaintiff, the plaintiff made payments of N50,000, as application fees, $10, 000 as bid processing fees and part payment of or a deposit payment of $2, 40,000 as signature bonus.
That on July 2, 2001, the Federal government and Minister petroleum resources revoked the oil Prospecting Licence (OPL 245) granted to the plaintiff.
Abacha further stated that the plaintiff sued Federal government at the Federal High Court over the said revocation of OPL 245 but the matter was subsequently resolved through an out of court settlement agreement by the parties.
That it was common understanding between the plaintiff and the Federal government in the out of court settlement agreement that the Federal government would re- allocate the Oil Prospecting Licence 245 (OPL245) to the plaintiff.
“That while the re-allocation to the plaintiff OPL 245 was subsisting, the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th defendants and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation surreptitiously entered into what they called block 245 resolution agreement dated April 29, 2011, wherein the defendants agreed inter alia that the Federal government shall allocate Oil Prospecting Licence 245 (OPL 245) to Shell Nigeria Ultra-Deep Limited and Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Ltd. (4th and 5th) defendants, without the knowledge or consent of the plaintiff.
“That the plaintiff was never a party to Block 245 resolution agreement purporting to require the plaintiff to relinquish it’s rights and interest in OPL 245 to any defendants.
“That the plaintiff had sourced for and entered into contractual agreement with its technical partners for the effectual realisation of OPL 245 and unless the defendants are restrained, the applicant will be forced thereby to breach contractual agreements with its technical partners and thereby lose its international business goodwill and reputation.”

Author: News Editor

4418 stories / Browse all stories

Related Stories »

Provide your email below, and we will notify you the latest news freely.

sjdating    

calendar »