Group Urges Kachikwu To Ignore Protests Over $260m Contracts For Exxonmobil’s Usan Field


BEVERLY HILLS, February 24, (THEWILL) – A Niger Delta oil monitoring group, Niger Delta Indigenous Movement For Radical Change (NDIMRC), has called on Minister for state for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, not to rescind the $260 million contract awarded by ESSO Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil for the Usan oilfield.

THEWILL recalls that some Stakeholders under the aegis of Nigerian Content Front (NCF), had requested the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Emmanuel Kachikwu, to cancel the $260m contracts awarded by ESSO, alleging the violation of due process in the award of the contract, as it allegedly did not receive the approval of the NNPC board.

NDIMRC has however written in defense of the National Petroleum Investment Services (NAPIMS), a subsidiary of NNPC, in the approval given for the award of the multibillion dollars contact and implored Kachikwu to ignore those they called ‘hired Stakeholders’ who were seeking for the cancellation and suspension of the contract.

In a press statement signed by its President, Nelly Emma, Secretary, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer, Stanley Mukoro and made available to THEWILL, the group reiterated that the contract for the ExxonMobil’s Usan Field followed due process and therefore reaffirmed its earlier clean bill of health on NAPIMS.

“We want to restate that those seeking for the cancellation of the contract duly awarded and threatening to drag NAPIMS before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are being economical with the truth,” they declared.

“This multi-billion Naira deal was managed by Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) for two years before it was taken over by ExxonMobil and it is not true that NAPIMS allegedly approved the contract illegally.

“The NNPC has cleared the air on this issue in a recent advertorial in one of the national dailies and we have expected that those still rooting for the cancellation of the contract would have allowed a sleeping dog to lie.

“The records of the NNPC concerning the contract for the provision of 0lMR Vessel and WROV Services for Usan operations are straight enough and it is our humble appeal to the Federal Government to ignore the hired Stakeholders who are out to mislead the public by calling for the cancellation of the contract as NNPC has set the records straight on the issue.

The group which however hailed the anti-corruption stance of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources said; “The new management of NAPIMS has brought a lot of innovations into the system and deserves commendations, especially for the promotion of the Nigerian Local Content.

“In as much as people have the freedom of speech, the right to their personal opinion of which we are expressing here, it is very wrong and worrisome for some hired Stakeholders in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector to mislead the whole world by calling on the Federal Government to cancel the contract for the ExxonMobil’s Usan Field and we plead with the government to ignore such self-serving calls.”

ESSO took over the operations of Usan Field from Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) on February 1, 2014 and inherited all contracts running on the Usan Field.

The controversial contracts involve the provision of DP2-DP3 Construction Platform Vessel; Provision of DP2 4800 DWT Platform Support Vessel (PSV); and Provision of Fast Supply Intervention Vessel (FSIV) for Usan deepwater project.

Story by David Oputah