Buhari orders returns of Addax’s revoked oilfields, overriding regulator

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Nigeria’s president restored four oilfield licences to Addax, a company controlled by China’s Sinopec, his office said in a statement, overruling a previous revocation from the country’s petroleum regulator.

The restoration of the fields roughly three weeks after the Department of Petroleum Resources rescinded them was aimed to ensure “commitment to the rule of law, fairness and enabling a stable business climate for investment,” President Muhammadu Buhari’s office said in a statement.

“This development reaffirms the commitment of President Buhari to the rule of law and sanctity of contracts,” the statement said. The statement also said it would boost Nigeria’s long-term oil production.

It said the fields would return to the original production sharing contracts between state oil company NNPC and Addax.

Revoking licences for producing fields is an unusual move, made more so by the fact that DPR re-awarded the fields almost immediately to other companies, Kaztec Engineering Limited and Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited.

Of the assets in question, OML 123, OML 124, OML 126 and OML 137, three have producing fields, according to Addax’s website.

DPR director Sarki Auwalu said at the time that Addax was not developing the assets sufficiently. Buhari directed NNPC to resolve any of remaining issues with Addax using exisiting production sharing contracts.