By Eseoghene Emuke
Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL), operator of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30 says the company is not indebted to any of its contractor.
The company also dismissed claims that it was incompetent and unfit to operate OML30 which is the second largest OML after Nembe in the country.
HEOSL made the clarification in a statement made available to NIGER DELTA TODAY Online on Tuesday in Warri in its reaction to an earlier story where the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) alleged that the company is owing indigenous contractors.
HEOSL which operates OML 30 on behalf of its Joint Venture Partners, the Nigeria Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC) and Shoreline Natural Resources Limited (SNRL), urged the public to disregard IYC claims.
The statement explained that, “when it took over operations of OML 30, it inherited many invoices and ongoing contracts. The company noticed that while some of the invoices could be verified, there were some that could not. Despite this, the company went ahead and commenced with the payment of verified invoices while investigating others.
“The volume of the debts necessitated the development in conjunction with contractors of payment plans for installment payments. Since then, the company has been steadily reducing the debts according to the agreed payment plans.”
HEOSL noted that since their takeover of the operation of the OML 30, it had adhered strictly to the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) it entered with host communities in October 2018.
“This clarification came in response to allegations by the Ijaw Youth Council at a recent press briefing to the effect that the company is owing contractors, some for as long as three years.
“The company took over the operation of OML 30 in 2017 to revitalise production in a sustainable manner. The vision of the company is to be the lowest cost operator per barrel and partner of choice to its stakeholders.
“Since taking over the asset, the company has more greatly increased production output from OML 30. The company has also been able to reduce to a large extent the level of oil theft along the Trans Forcados Pipeline there by saving revenue for the Federal Government.
“It paid over N2.3 billion in taxes to government between 2017 and 2019.
“HEOSL signed a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with host communities in October 2018 to guide how the company and the community can work together to create understanding and cooperation towards consolidating a mutually beneficial relationship.
“As part of its commitment to its host communities, the company has been providing scholarships worth over N181 million per annum to students from its host communities”, the statement added.