The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says its oil and gas alternative dispute resolution centre (ADRC) has commenced operation with the first case resolved.
Paul Osu, DPR’s head of public affairs, announced this in a statement in Lagos on Monday.
The ADRC is one of the units under the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC) inaugurated by Muhammadu Buhari on January 21, 2021.
DPR had said the centre would offer arbitration, mediation and conciliation services for the industry and will leverage oil and gas technical experts, alternative dispute resolution practitioners and resources of the national data repository (NDR) to provide fair and balanced resolutions of industry-related disputes from an informed position.
Osu said the centre’s operations are in line with the federal government’s objective for speedy resolution of disputes in the industry, adding that four other cases were currently at the hearing stage before the ADRC.
He said the centre has a six-member advisory council and a 20-member body of neutrals which has been mediating on disputes between players in the oil and gas value chain.
According to the statement, members of the advisory council are Sarki Auwalu, director/CEO of DPR as chairman, Saliu Said, Cecelia Olatoregun, Bayo Ojo , Daere Akobo, and Nicholas Odinuwe.
He explained that the setting up of ADRC is in consonance with the provisions of the Petroleum Act Cap P10 Laws of the Federation 2004 which emphasises the settlement of disputes through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms without recourse to litigation.
“The ADRC has successfully resolved its first case and we have four others pending. This is a positive step for the industry because the objective of setting up the centre is to reduce cost, enhance safety and add value to the sector,” Osu said.
“With this, we can begin to win investors confidence thereby attracting more investments to the oil and gas sector.”
He further said that participating or referring of cases to ADRC was voluntary, adding that it would however be very beneficial to the parties.
In April 2021, the DPR said over 43 cases in the Nigerian oil and gas industry are waiting to be looked into by the ADRC.