$60m oil well dispute: Halkin, Senate at ‘war’


Dispute between Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited and Halkin Exploration and Production Ltd over Atala Marginal Oil Field ( OML 46 ),  took another dimension Tuesday with the latter slamming the Senate with N10billion suit.

This is as the Senate through its committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions , threatens  to issue warrant of arrest in compelling the managing director of Halkin to appear before it on petition against Halkin by Hardy Oil Nigeria Ltd.

Hardy Oil had in a petition filed against Halkin to the Senate , alleged  that Atala Marginal Field ( OML 46) hitherto owned by it , was fraudulently sold to Halkin by the now scrapped Department of Petroleum Resources ( DPR).

The Senate had on the strength of the petition, mandated its committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions , to investigate the allegation.

The two oil firms at the beginning of the investigative hearing by the Committee in October appeared through their representatives , but Halkin in a surprise move , slammed the committee with N10billion suit for discontinuance of the session .

Informing the Committee of Halkin’s litigation during Tuesday  session,   the Committee Chairman, Senator Ayo Akinyelure ( PDP Ondo Central) , said a Senior Advocate of Nigeria ( SAN), M.A Mahmud , had written the committee that his client , Halkin Exploration and Production Ltd , had gone to court over oil well dispute.

” The SAN in the letter , informed us that the Senate had been sued with the sum of N10billion and that all issues relating to the oil well , are to be handled by the court of law.

“This to us is unacceptable because none of the disputing  parties was in court before petition was received by us upon which investigation commenced with attendance of the two parties.

“More disturbing is the fact that before the litigation , Halkin in a letter dated 12th October , 2021 and signed by its MD , Mr Odogu , promised to appear before the Committee today with relevant documentation on acquisition of the oil well from DPR now Nigerian  Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) .

“Mr Odogu must appear at our next sitting failure of which warrant of arrest would be issued on him because nobody can stop the Senate from carrying out investigation brought before it as empowered by section 88 of the 1999  Constitution.”