Why DPR denounces refinery licenses revocation saga


Olusola Bello
The reason why the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) denounced the statement to the effect that it has revoked the licences of some investors in refinery was because there are procedure that must be followed by the agency before carrying out such exercise.
So far none of the  investors that are mentioned to have been  affected  has  violated  those procedures and so they cannot be  stopped from carrying out their plans regarding the projects  according  to sources close to the DPR.
There are validity period for a particular milestone, the licence becomes inactive until the company reapplies for revalidation to migrate to another milestone.
The regulatory agency denounced a report that it has revoked the licences issued for the establishment of 32 refinery projects in the country.
The report had listed BUA Refinery & Petrochemicals (Akwa Ibom); Southfield Petrochemical & Refinery Ltd (Edo); Starex Petroleum Refinery (Onne Oil & Gas Free Trade Zone); RG Shinjin Petrochemicals (Delta); Don Mac (Edo), and Platinum Hydrocarbon Resources (Delta) as some of the facilities affected by the development.
Some others affected, according to the report, were All Grace Energy (Rivers); Green Energy International (Rivers); Fresh Energy Limited (Bayelsa); Chyzob Oil & Gas (Abia); Aiteo Energy Resources Limited (Delta); Associated Worldwide Company (Akwa Ibom); and Amakpe International Refinery (Akwa Ibom).
But in a statement by the DPR in Abuja, the industry regulator stated that it has not revoked any petrol refinery licences.
The release signed by the Head, Public Affairs of the organisation,  Paul Osu, noted that refinery licences like other regulatory instruments have milestones attached to them.
The DPR added that it was only natural that after a given milestone is achieved, the licence owner approaches the regulator for a new instrument for the next phase.
It said: “Our attention has been drawn to a report in some publications stating that DPR has revoked 32 refinery licences issued to private companies in Nigeria.
“We wish to clarify that DPR did not revoke any refinery licence. Refinery licences like our other regulatory instruments have validity periods for investors to attain certain milestones.
“This implies that after the validity period for the particular milestone, the licence becomes inactive until the company reapplies for revalidation to migrate to another milestone”
According to the DPR, this does not in any way translate to the revocation of the licence of the company.
It affirmed that the DPR in line with the aspirations of government initiated the refinery revolution programme aimed at boosting the country’s local refining capacity.
DPR noted that this aspiration was being meticulously carried out by enabling business and creating new opportunities for investors with the granting of modular and conventional refinery licences.
The oil and gas industry regulator stated that it will continue to provide support to investors in the sector in Nigeria using its regulatory instruments, including licences, permits and approvals to stimulate the economy and align with government’s job creation initiatives.

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