Business Irish

Monday 19 March 2018

FitzPatrick's old oil well comes under fire

Tom Lyons

AN oil platform in the Niger Delta once co-owned by Sean FitzPatrick, the former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, has been damaged -- by heavy shell fire.

FitzPatrick's stake in the find, which sits on top of up to $1bn worth of oil in the pirate-ridden delta, is now controlled by the Courts Service Official Assignee in Bankruptcy, Chris Lehane.

It is not clear whether the shelling was deliberate or accidental, but it has seriously damaged the oil delivery platform of the find.

It is possible the platform was hit by mistake by the Nigerian navy, which maintains a significant presence in the delta area to protect the oil industry from raids by pirates.

FitzPatrick's stake in the oil find called the OML 88 Ekeh Field Development is held through a firm called Movido Exploration and Production Limited. Other shareholders include Lar Bradshaw, the ex-Anglo director and former chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, Victor Ombu, a former vice admiral in the Nigerian Navy, and other local businessmen.

Movido is based on Alhaji Bashorun Street in Ikoyi, an affluent suburb of Lagos, Nigeria, nicknamed "Africa's most valuable real estate". Only one of Movido's four contact numbers rang last week but nobody answered it. Adebola Akinyede, Movido's general manager, did not respond to emails.

An attempt was made by FitzPatrick and Bradshaw in 2009 to bring in new investment from Irish business associates to get oil in the well flowing in a move that might have allowed the banker repay his creditors in full.

The deal fell through and FitzPatrick was forced to go bankrupt in July 2010. He has worked hard with Lehane to cash in his assets and repay creditors as much as possible.

Sunday Indo Business

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