Eroton, the indigenous oil and gas operator has had its prized asset, OML 18 taken away from it by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
OML18 is estimated to be capable of producing up to 60,000 barrels per day.
The operatorship of the asset was taken by NNPC because of several infractions by Eroton including indebtness to Joint Venture partners, illegal diversion of funds, inability to meet up with work programmes and tax issues.
Eroton has had its offices in Victoria Island, Lagos closed for over a year now by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) for inability to meet its tax obligations running into millions of dollars.
In addition, Eroton is said to owe Aiteo and Shell over $80million in outstanding charges related to the use of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL)
To cap its troubles, the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission has tapped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), to step in to investigate allegations of financial impropriety and fraud levelled against Eroton’s management.
These are surely not the best of times for Eroton, which was once a shining example of indigenous participation in the upstream oil and gas sector in Nigeria. The loss of the operating asset might just be what precipitates the winding up of its operations in Nigeria.
Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and get the latest nigeria news and gists directly on your phone