The Founder of Petralon 54 Limited, Mr Ahonsi Unuigbe, said that the company would appropriate the provisions and benefits of the Petroleum Industry Act, (PIA) to positively impact its host communities.
He explained that the company was awarded Petroleum Prospecting License No. 259 (PPL 259) known as the Dawes Island marginal field in June 2022 by the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.
He spoke at an event tagged ‘Dawes Island Community Launch’ which was held at the Ogoloma Town Square/
Unuigbe said that the company has been actively engaging the community since the award, with the motive of discovering the needs and pain points of the community.
According to him, the management of the company had visited the host communities of the Dawes Island Field which are Okochiri, Konuju, and Ogoloma, all in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He explained that the oil field has been inactive for about 14 years but that the company was fully back to start operations on the field.
He also revealed that Petralon 54 Limited, has begun preliminary tests to fix the oil well in a bid to commence production.
He said the company on commencement of production would create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth of the communities.
According to him, Dawes Island Field is located in the Eastern Niger Delta within an area formerly delineated as OML 54 and operated by Chevron as part of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company/Chevron Nigeria Joint Venture.
He added that the Field lies in predominantly swamp terrain, with a water depth of around 4m. It is situated at about 15km south-west of Port Harcourt, 7km west of the Onne Free Trade Zone, and 35km north of the Bonny Terminal.
The event tagged ‘Dawes Island Community Launch’ held at the Ogoloma Town Square had the rich culture of the Okrika people on display and attracted dignitaries from the three communities, including the youths, community elders, members of the Council of Chiefs, top government functionaries and the paramount traditional rulers.
Notable amongst those present at the Petralon 54 Community Engagement Programme, asides from the Royal fathered, were: Honourable Linda Stewart Koroma,
Member, Rivers State House of Assembly and Spokesperson for the Amanyanabo of Ogoloma Kingdom, Dr. Chris Biriowu, Spokesperson for the Amanyanabo ofOkochiri Kingdom, Chief Martins Ateli Kunumgbe, Chairman, Ogoloma Council ofChiefs and Engr. Alhassan Abubarka, and a representative of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).
Leading the Petralon 54 team, which included Adeola Akinrinmade, Executive
Director and Gboyega Aiyemomi, Community & Government Relations Manager, was Unuigbe, who formally presented the company’s Petroleum Prospecting License No. 259 (PPL 259) to the Royal Fathers and the people, and conveyed appreciation for the warm reception accorded him and other members of Petralon 54 management team present at the occasion
Unuigbe, while presenting the PPL license, told the communities that “Petralon 54 is a socially responsible organisation that is committed to human and environmental wellbeing and urged the Okrika people to see the company as a partner in progress”.
“We are not just here to take without giving back. With the right atmosphere created by the Okrika people for our company’s operations, mutual prosperity is assured”, he promised.
He added, “It is our hope that as we are ending this year, we will finish the well with preparation, with planning to commence proper operations next year. And as we are commencing operations, for every barrel of oil we produce, we are setting money aside for this community.
“Just like every other place in Nigeria, the population of this community is dominated by youths under 35. Sixty-five per cent of this community is under 35. So, there is high unemployment in this community as there is in this state and the country.
“We will address that by finding projects that offer training and employment opportunities so that youths of this community will grow up one day and start companies bigger than Petralon 54, own their oil projects, farms, banks, and everything because we want a better future for our new generation.”
Executive Director, Petralon 54 Limited, Adeola Akinrinmade, said, “Petralon 54 is a socially responsible organisation that is committed to human and environmental well-being and urged the Okrika people to see the company as a partner in progress”.
“We are not just here to take without giving back. With the right atmosphere created by the Okrika people for our company’s operations, mutual prosperity is assured.
“Petralon 54 Ltd is an indigenous exploration and production oil and gas company.
“The company holds a 100% interest in PPL 259, which covers the Dawes Island Field. It is a subsidiary of Petralon Energy Limited, whose mission is to leverage its experience, expertise, and world-class delivery capability to grow true indigenous ownership within the sector while redefining the relationship between oil companies and communities.
“As a company, Petralon 54 Limited is excited at the opportunities this development will present to every stakeholder in this ecosystem and has commenced significant investment in the asset, which has suffered neglect for more than eighteen years.
Going by its strategic plan to take the Dawes Island field to sustained commercial production before the end of the year 2022, Petralon 54 started well-test operations in September 2022, an initiative which will result in sufficient data gathering that will enable seamless operation and contribution to national output.”
He added, “Money is fluid and it is always looking for somewhere to rest. So, the question is, are you in the right position to attract funds to rest on your asset? Yes, for us. You could have listened to what the founder and the CEO said when we were awarded in 2021. We did not just jump
into it. We took time to engage with partners. They are an internationally known company for geoscientific research. We gave them the letter and they accepted it intensely and vigorously. And they came out with the plan which we are going to utilize to attract investment. And the plan says during the course of the years, two years to three years. And it shows that the field is indeed viable enough to attract investment internationally, and viable to attract investment locally. I would say there won’t be a problem attracting investment because this asset is viable.”
Spokesmen for Ogoloma and Okochiri communities, Dr Chris Biriowu and Hon. Linda Koroma, commended the company for its action.
Koroma said, “We are peace-loving people but we do not want to be taken for granted. In getting wealth out of our land, our people’s means of livelihood are destroyed. We, therefore, expect that we should be a part of the prosperity for which we sacrifice our livelihoods, ecosystem and land.
“With the way you – Petralon 54 have come to us, we are persuaded that you are keen on a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with our people, and for that, you have our full support and cooperation.”
Biriowu said, “Our communities have a very high percentage of youths, who will require employment and empowerment. We ask you, as one of us, to make this one of your own problems, too.”