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ATALA [OML 46], DEBUNKING THE LIES AND FALSEHOOD

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THANK YOU AGAIN MR. PRESIDENT

As a result of the recent controversy one Bello Akpoku of the Bayelsa Oil Company Limited [BOCL] was trying to create by allowing himself to be used as a pawn by Century Exploration and Production Limited [CEPL] to conjure up lies carefully constructed to misinform and mislead Bayelsans and the Ijaw Nation, we the Atala Host Community Watchdog have taken it upon ourselves to clear the air and debunk the malicious lies manufactured by the above mentioned individual.

1. The Atala Marginal Field [OML 46] was awarded to BOCL on the 25th February, 2003.

2. In 2010, seven [7] years after the initial award, BOCL was granted a five year extension to hopefully and finally bring the Atala Field into fullscale production. This gracious extension of the Atala Marginal license expired on the 15th of March, 2015.

3. The Department of Petroleum Resources [DPR] conducted a performance evaluation of the activities in the Atala Field and its operational position and discovered that BOCL had failed to achieve production within the stipulated timeframe.

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4. The crystal clear inability to bring the Atala Marginal Field into production after more than ten [10] years of operating the Field was the basis of the first revocation.

5. However, it is common knowledge that the Federal Government has always bent over backwards to accommodate and assist indigenous operating companies find their feet.

6. So in a bid to further support BOCL, The Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources at the time approved the renewal of the Atala Field License for a period of 18 months with effect from 1st May, 2016.

7. This approval lapsed on the 1st of December, 2017 and from an official standpoint the Atala Field license awarded to BOCL had expired.

8. DPR in its renewal letter, clearly stated that “this renewal shall be the final chance for you to bring the field into production failing which the field shall be withdrawn without any further recourse to you”.

So the Federal Government gave BOCL ample time even after the Atala License had officially expired in 2017, to develop the field. However, by Century’s own admission in its letter of 3rd October, 2019 to DPR, the persistent non-alignment of BOCL and Century Exploration and Production, caused total stagnation of activities in Atala, the resultant effect which was the eventual revocation of the Field.

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Thank you Mr. President once again for revoking the Atala Field and giving it to a company that is ready to finally produce the field in a businesslike fashion. You have shown great concern for Bayelsans.

Bayelsa Host Communities Watchdogs

Dubaowei Jacob – spokesman

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