In a remarkable show of acceptance, Ogoloma, Okochiri and Koniju communities in Okrika Local Government, Rivers State have found common ground in Petralon 54 Limited, an indigenous oil exploration and production company, recently granted the sole operatorship of the Dawes Island Field
Petralon 54, which was awarded Petroleum Prospecting License No. 259 (PPL 259) by the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, have been actively engaging the community since the award, with the motive of discovering the needs and pain points of the community. These engagements culminated in a visit to the communities on Thursday, 13th October, 2022.
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 were: His Royal Majesty, King Emmanuel Tamunoigbeindebia Ibiagolika Obudibo, JP, Ikwo V, the Amanyanabo of Ancient Ogoloma Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Michael Ateke Tom, the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, Hon. Linda Stewart Koroma, Member, Rivers State House of Assembly and Spokesperson for the Amanyanabo of Ogoloma Kingdom, Dr. Chris Biriowu, Spokesperson for the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, Chief Martins Ateli Kunumgbe, Chairman, Ogoloma Council of Chiefs and Engr. Alhassan Abubarka, 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 Ahonsi Unuigbe, Founder Petralon 54’ he 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 there present.
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.
Speaking differently, but with one voice, the spokespersons for both Ogoloma and Okochiri communities, Hon. Linda Koroma and Dr. Chris Biriowu, warmly welcomed Petralon 54 and expressed the communities’ happiness at company’s effort at connecting deeply with the people.
“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”, said Hon. Linda Koroma.
She added, however, that “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”.
Earlier in his remarks for Okochiri Kingdom, Dr. Chris Biriowu commented that 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”.
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, and 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 54started 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.