By Oke Peter
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with its joint venture partners, Shell Production Development Company (SPDC) and Belema Oil, have resolved the dispute on the operation of Oil Mining Lease 25.
The feuding group at the signing of the dispute closure agreement in Abuja on Tuesday agreed that operations at the oil well would take off in the next 10 days.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva, while signing the agreement, thanked all the parties stressing that the step signified the beginning of a new chapter in the industry.
Silva said that the aim of the ministry was to ensure an oil industry that worked and operated in harmony and unity.
Silva said, “When I came into the office, the issue was one of the problems that came on the table; there were so many letters from communities complaining about the problem.
“I just decided to invite Shell to hear its own part of the story but fortunately, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, MeleKyari, had intervened in the matter.
“So, I have the honour now to thank him for this great intervention.
“I also thank Shell and Belema for cooperating to ensure that there is closure on this matter that had bedevilled the industry for so long.”
He said that one of the aims of the petroleum industry was to ensure zero loss in the industry and that production got to its destination.
He said that the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement were not the companies but the communities, especially those in Belema, who had been suffering since the beginning of the dispute.
The minister commended the NNPC, Shell and the Belema Oil for agreeing to resolve the dispute.