By Michael ojo
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has restrained the Ministry of Petroleum from selling or accepting bids for Dawes Island Marginal Oil Field (Oil Mining Licence 54) pending determination of a suit challenging its status.
Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo granted the order of interim injunction against the minister of state and his ministry following a May 18 ex parte application filed by Eurafric Energy Ltd.
The Dawes Island marginal field located in OPLs 2005 & 2006 was formerly OML 54 and is in swamp terrain about 15km southwest of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Federal Government in April 2020 purportedly revoked 11 firms’ oil licences to operate marginal fields, including OML 54.
But Eurafric Energy filed a motion on notice challenging the revocation and applied for an interim injunction restraining the Minister and the Ministry.
Its counsel Jerry Omoregie told the judge that “both the plaintiff and its Joint Venture Partners had spent over $60million in the Dawes Island Marginal Field from inception till March 30 2020 before the revocation letter was received.”
He said the defendants had “concluded plans to list the Dawes Island Marginal Oil Field in the forthcoming Marginal Oil Fields Bid offer of the Federal Government of Nigeria..”
Ruling on his application, the court granted the Plaintiff’s prayers and stayed action on “all matters relating to or connected therewith the Dawes Island Marginal Oil Field (OML 54)” pending the resolution of the suit.
“The defendants are hereby restrained in the interim from offering for bids, calling for bids, listing for bids, advertising, auctioning… the Dawes Island Marginal Oil Field (OML 54), pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice…
“The defendants…are hereby restrained in the interim from disposing, offering, selling, alienating, dissipating, attaching, assigning or howsoever done the Plaintiff’s assets in the Dawes Island Marginal Oil Field (OML 54),” the judge held.
Justice Oguntoyinbo adjourned till June 10 for hearing of the Motion on Notice.