THE Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) the trio of Anambra, Enugu and Kogi states cannot yet be categorised as oil producing states until necessary conditions are met.
In a letter to the Senate Committee on Petroleum (upstream), DPR explained that the three states could only be declared oil- bearing states if the oil firm in the area, Orient Oil, scales up its operations from oil prospecting to oil mining lease.
While speaking on the matter, Chairman of the Committee,Tayo Alasoadura, noted a report titled “FG confirms Anambra oil producing status” threw up the matter to the front burner.
He said that the issue at hand had to do with a referral to the committee on the contentious boundary between Anambra, Kogi and Enugu States.
Alasoadura said that his committee lacked the power to declare a state oil -producing adding that the agency in the best position to settle the matter is the National Boundary Commission.
The Ondo Central senator said that the committee wrote to the DPR “but their response was not quite satisfactory. That is why we want to hear from your commission.”
He noted that the committee decided to hear from the National Boundary Commission because “when we had a similar issue in Ondo State in the past, it was your commission that resolved it.”
Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North) in his contribution noted that the issue of OPL 915 and 916 dated back to antiquity.
Utazi said: “I didn’t know that this motion would come up, because we had already resolved the issue when Senator Isaac Mohammed Alfa was away.
“Kogi and Enugu State do not have problem; the two are in agreement. But Enugu and Anambra are not in agreement.
“We in Enugu want to be declared as oil -producing state too. Let that be done pending when the boundary commission finishes its work.”
He added that Orient Oil within seven years moved from 3,000 to 10,000 barrels a day.
According to him: “An oil company that had been able to move from 3,000 to 10,000 barrels per day should have graduated from oil prospecting to oil mining lease.”
He said that they would go to the DPR to find out why Orient Oil refused to move from oil prospecting to oil mining lease.”