AITEO slams Shell with $2.5bn suit over sale of OML 29

A global oil giant, AITEO has slammed Anglo-Dutch Company, Shell with a $2.5B suit over claims it made in the sale of the OML 29. 

Shell and its joint venture partners sold all their undivided 45% equity in OML 29 to AITEO sometime in 2014 for a whopping sum of $2.4 billion, which assets Shell said included the Nembe Creek Trunk Line and the Marginal Oil Fields among others.

In the Suit filed at the Federal High Court Registry on July, 27, 2021, the Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant, Shell which was the operator of the OML called for bids for the undivided 45% interest which it held with its partners Total and AGIP.

AITEO claimed that relying and acting on the Information Memorandum published and managed by Shell it made its winning bid believing that the content of the Information Memorandum was correct, comprehensive and factual regarding the nature, location, operatorship and viability of the entire facility.

In the agreement signed at the sale of the facility, Shell listed oil well in the OML to include Kugbo West 1-4 and Okiori Nos. 93-94 and further warranted that all statements and claims in the agreement are true and factual and that the oil wells were part of what were transferred to AITEO and were not encumbered in any way as no third party had any right to interfere in their operations and ownership of the oil wells.

However, despite all these claims made by shell, sometime in 2020, AITEO upon its intention to commence work at the wells found out that they had earlier been re-conveyed back to NNPC by Shell without informing AITEO and still went ahead to sell what did not belong to it to AITEO and knowing that the well no longer belonged to it. While Shell sold OML 29 with the oil wells to AITEO in 2014, it had in 2009 re-conveyed the oil wells to NNPC.

Shell has also now awarded those oil wells to another company which has also paid for it thereby exposing the fact that Shell did not truly own the oil wells which it purportedly sold to AITEO.

It will be recalled that AITEO had earlier filed another Suit against Shell saying that it claims that the Nembe Creek Trunk Line which it also sold to AITEO in the same transaction was recently refurbished but upon full acquisition, the company noticed that the Trunk Line was in a dilapidated stated with multiple leakages thereby causing AITEO huge losses which it asked the Court to award compensations for.

Likewise, there were allegations by AITEO that through the deployment of unapproved metering system at the Bonny terminal, Shell had also taken about 16 million barrels of crude oil belonging to the company. 

Also DPR had earlier discovered after investigations that Shell took over 2 million barrels of crude oil from some Nigerian companies which the DPR directed shell to pay back to the affected companies.

There have been several other allegations against Shell in its transaction against AITEO with regards to the sale of OML 29 which had portrayed the Anglo-Dutch company as not being sincere in its dealings.

In the present Suit, AITEO is claiming among other reliefs the sum of $2,135,250,000:00 as the amount it would have derived from the sale of the 73, 000,000 barrels of oil estimated to be in the wells or in the alternative the sum of $99, 000, 000, which it paid for the wells and interest which would have accrued on the sum and an interest at the rate of 22% from October, 2014 when it paid for the Wells. 

AITEO is further claiming $52,863,820:82 which it would have earned over the life of the oil wells, general damages of $500, 000:00 arising from the fraud, deceit and misrepresentations and cost of the action at N250, 000, 000:00.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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