The Federal Government says the Zabazaba deepwater project in Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245 will continue in spite of controversies surrounding the oil block.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said this in Houston Texas, U. S. while addressing journalists on the sidelines of the annual Offshore Technology Conference.
According to him, the project, which is to be carried out by the trio of the Federal Government, Shell and the Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE), will go on as scheduled and the protracted dispute on the block with Malabu oil will not affect it.
The Zabazaba Deepwater is a Greenfield offshore licence block located in the OPL 245 in the Eastern portion of the Niger Delta with water depths ranging from 1,200 to 2,400 metres.
“Malabu continues to be a worry. It happened before this administration and it is in court. This matter is being handled not just in Nigeria; action is going on in France and some other countries, the facts are there.
“As a lawyer with years of experience, I try not to comment on this.
“There is a difference between recovering the illegal payments and dealing with the benefits of the block itself.
“The Zabazaba and other projects that have been signed on and so would have to go on. That has nothing to do with recovering the money. In recovering, the money we should keep trailing the money and get it.