Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria’s oil and gas regulator has revoked four licences held by Addax Petroleum and awarded them to two Nigerian firms, Kaztec Engineering and Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited.
DPR announced this on Wednesday, with its director Sarki Auwalu saying in a post on the DPR website that Addax was not developing the assets sufficiently.
But according to Addax, three of the four revoked blocks,OML 123, OML 124, OML 126 and OML 137, have producing fields.
A DPR spokesman said the licences had already been re-awarded to Kaztec Engineering Limited and Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited.
Sir Emeka Offor is the chairman of Kaztec Engineering. The company also has former senate President and APC chieftain, Ken Nnamani as a stakeholder.
Salvic, with head office in Eko Atlantic City, entered the oil industry in 2015 as a ‘newbreed’ player.
It has Oye Hassan Odukale as chairman and Ikemefuna Okafor as CEO.
Two Addax representatives in Nigeria did not immediately respond to messages on LinkedIn seeking comment.
Addax is owned by China’s Sinopec Group.
Addax said it had 11 fields with 80 production wells in OML 123, two fields with 15 producing wells in OML 124 and two fields with 17 production wells in concession OML 126.
DPR has the authority to revoke licences when the holder is not meeting its agreement to invest in and develop them, but moves last year to revoke 11 marginal oilfield licences resulted in at least two court challenges.
DPR is also typically required to prove that the company is not developing the assets as agreed.
Auwalu, who visited Addax as recently as September last year, said over 50% of the assets were underdeveloped, which he said said cost the government lost revenue.
Gas from Addax was also expected to feed an ill-fated P&ID gas processing plant.
P&ID never built the gas plant but rushed to secure an arbitration award against the Nigerian government worth nearly $10 billion.
A court in UK, has for now upended the verdict.
*With reports by Reuters