By Collins Ughalaa

The Imo State Petroleum Development Company, an oil and gas exploration and mining company owned by the State Government, has acquired its first ever oil block and now set to commence oil mining, having participated and won the bid for the award of the oil block.

This was contained in a letter from the Department of Petroleum Resources of the Ministry of Petroleum, Abuja, and addressed to the Managing Director/CEO of the Company, dated January 22, 2021, and signed by the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Engr. Saraki Auwalu, titled: 2020 MARGINAL FIELD BID ROUND (MFBR) EXERCISE: SIGNATURE BONUS PAYMENT CURRENCY DENOMINATION.

The letter, among other things reads: “Further to our letter of 16th December 2020 …. notifying you of your status in the ongoing MFBR exercise, please be informed that Government has decided to accept the payment of Signature Bonus for the 2020 MFBR in either US dollars or the Nigerian Naira”.

It could be recalled that the State Government on July 29, 2020 announced the established the Imo Petroleum Development Company (IPDC), as part of measures to make the State play more meaningfully in the Oil and Gas sector.

The Special Adviser to the Governor and Coordinator Petroleum and Gas Matters, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah, disclosed the formation of the State owned oil producing company while fielding questions from journalists in Owerri, assuring that the establishment would lead to massive job creation for the teaming population of youths in the state and enhance government revenue.

Opiah said that the State owned oil company was established about 20 years as a major player in the Oil Gas sector for the State, noting that Governor Hope has increased the share capital of the Company to 10 billion shares.

He added that the Company would bid for Oil Mining License (OML) and engage in oil exploration activities and mining.

He added that the oil producing company had partnered with Oak Company, a company based in the United States of America, for the establishment of a refinery in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area during the Ikedi Ohakim, stressing that the deal could not sail through partly because of the restiveness in the Niger Delta region which forced the US Government to place travel restrictions on the states in the Niger Delta, which also led the Oak Company to pull out of the deal.

According to Opiah, the Imo Petroleum Development Company will also establish refineries in addition to prospecting for Oil and Gas. He also disclosed that the Company will engage in the production of petrochemical products beside oil production.

Speaking on the acquisition of the oil block, Opiah who spoke to journalists in Owerri on Friday said it was in fulfilment of Governor Hope Uzodimma’s pledge to make the State a major player in the oil and gas sector. He added that the Governor’s selfless interest in the sector had started yielding tremendous results, calling on the people of the State to rally round the Governor to serve as the incentive to do more.

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