The euphoria surrounding the discovery of oil in Lagos State was palpable as it represented a new page in Nigeria’s crude oil story. For one, it showed that the often looked to Niger Delta region was not the only region in the country with the potential for crude oil. Additionally, it showed that Nigeria’s crude oil reserves could be far more than wat we have at present.
However, just 6 months after its commencement of crude oil production, Lagos has every reason to look with trepidation the recent disagreement between the partners of the Aje oilfield which has led to the Commercial Court Division of the High Court in London granting an interim injunction restraining the partners in the Aje Oilfield, offshore Lagos from implementing a resolution passed for drilling two additional wells and exercising any rights under the default provisions of the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 113.
The injunction comes after the Norwegian firm and one of the partners, Panoro Energy, who through its fully owned subsidiary, Pan Petroleum Aje Limited (PPAL), holds 6.502 per cent participation interest in OML 113, dragged the other partners to the London court.
The partner is seeking arbitration with the secretariat of the International Chamber of Commerce regarding their decision with respect to a proposed new well to be drilled and the related cash call to be paid by the partners.
While the Oslo-listed Panoro insists that the drilling of any new well is premature at this stage, other partners were ready to move ahead and make their cash calls respecting the drilling of the new wells.
In order to prevent the other partners from taking actions that could affect Panoro’s continued participation in the OML 113, the company also dragged the JV partners to the Commercial Court Division of the High Court in London seeking an interim injunction in order to prevent the other joint venture partners from exercising any rights under the default provisions of the OML 113 JOA.
“The court order has been received whereby PPAL has been granted an interim injunction. The other joint venture partners are now temporarily restricted from taking any action under the default provisions of the JOA that would prevent PPAL’s continued participation in the JOA and OML 113,” ThisDay quotes the company as saying.