The Punch

Diri says state-owned oil well revocation shocking, demands review

- Daniels Igoni Yenagoa

THe Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, on Wednesday broke his silence on the revoked licence for Oil Mining Lease 46 in the Atala Oil Field which was acquired by the state government.

Diri spoke for the first time on the revocation since the Federal Government through the Department of Petroleum Resources carried out the action in April, 2020.

He expressed shock over the revocation, saying that OML 46 remained a prized asset of the state to which it was sentimenta­lly attached.

Diri, therefore, called on the Federal Government to reconsider its decision on the oil field as it was the only oil asset owned by the state.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said the governor commented on the issue before the commenceme­nt of the weekly State executive Council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, on Wednesday.

Diri said, “Bayelsans are emotionall­y and sentimenta­lly attached to that asset as it is the only oil asset we own even though it is a marginal oil field. It was a surprise and rude shock to us that the licence was revoked.

“Part of what I have done in the last one week of my absence was to state the position of the Bayelsa State Government, which I did very clearly to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, our position on Atala Oil Field is that it is a prized asset of Bayelsa State and that revocation should be cancelled. Unequivoca­lly, we have said so and we believe that those in authority would see reason why we are sentimenta­lly and emotionall­y attached to the Atala Oil Field.”

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