By abuwaz • 9th Feb 2019 • 156 views • 27 comments

An oil firm, Petroleum Zion Nigeria Limited, has appealed against a Lagos High Court, Igbosere ruling in a case of breach of contract against two foreign oil firms and some Nigerian companies. Petroleum Zion sued PJT Partners UK Limited, Wilmington Trust (London) Limited and eight other firms before Justice Olutoyin Ipaye.

The suit is over alleged breach of contract, breach of confidentiality obligations and unlawful interference with economic interests. FHN 26 Limited, African Capital Alliance Limited, Vertex Energy Limited, Capital Alliance Nigeria Limited and Femi Bajomo, Simon Jonathan Appell, Daniel Imison and Ms. Catherine Williamson are the defendants. The plaintiff claimed that the defendants unlawfully interfered with its transaction to purchase Afren’s stake in Oil Mining Lease (“OML”) 26, with a production potential over 10,000 barrels of oil per day.However, in separate preliminary objections, four of the defendants, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited, FHN 26 Limited, Vertex Energy and Capital Alliance Nigeria Limited, asked the court to strike out their names from the suit as they were not necessary, desirable or proper parties to the suit. In her ruling last November 7, Justice Ipaye upheld all preliminary objections raised by the four defendants and struck out their names. Confusion trails Teleology’s alleged withdrawal from 9mobile Dissatisfied, Petroleum Zion on November 20 filed a Notice of Appeal through their lawyer Messrs Ubani & Co challenging the lower court’s decision.The firm is contending that the trial judge erred in law when she struck out First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited and FHN26 Limited from the suit on the ground that Petroleum Zion (Exploration & Production) Limited failed to show any reasonable cause of action against them. The appellant also argued that the trial judge erred in law when she struck out Vertex Energy and Capital Alliance Nigeria Limited from the suit on the ground that Petroleum Zion (Exploration & Production) Ltd failed to show any reasonable cause of action against her. The appellant is praying the Court of Appeal to allow the appeal and set aside the lower court’s ruling. The appellant is seeking from the upper court an order that the case file be transferred to another judge for trial

As of 2000, oil and gas exports accounted for more than 98% of export earnings and about 83% of federal government revenue, as well as generating more than 14% of its GDP. It also provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65% of government budgetary revenues. Nigeria’s proven oil reserves are estimated by the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) at between 16 and 22 billion barrels (2.5×109 and 3.5×109 m3), but other sources claim there could be as much as 35.3 billion barrels (5.61×109 m3).Its reserves make Nigeria the tenth most petroleum-rich nation, and by the far the most affluent in Africa. In mid-2001 its crude oil production was averaging around 2,200,000 barrels (350,000 m3) per day.[citation needed] It is expected that the industry will continue to be profitable based on an average bench mark oil price of $85-$90 per barrel.

Source: Vanguard News

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