• Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

2020 marginal oil licensing round: Upstream regulatory agency moves to close-out bid process

ByBassey Udo

Dec 28, 2021


The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) says it is set to formally close out the 2020 marginal oil field bid round held earlier this year.

Marginal oil fields are smaller oil blocks considered by multinational oil companies as commercially unviable for their operation, but typically available for development by indigenous oil companies.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Gbenga Komolafe said as part of the closeout process, it has put in place all necessary machinery to progress the bid round to its logical conclusion in line with the provision of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA).

In June, the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) announced the award of the operational rights to about 50 percent of the 161 firms shortlisted to bid for oil licenses to develop some marginal oil fields in the Niger Delta region.

The companies were shortlisted from a total of about 591 companies that submitted applications for the award of 57 oil fields put on offer by the Federal Government at various locations, including onshore, swamps, and offshore.

Some of the indigenous oil firms that were awarded oil licenses included Shafa Exploration, Matrix Energy and Vhelblerg Exploration.
In an official notice to participants in the bid programme on Tuesday, the Commission Chief Executive said an in-house work team has already been constituted to deal with all outstanding issues relating to the awards.

Some of the issues the team would deal with, he said, include distilling and addressing the concerns of awardees, with a view to closing out issues affecting multiple awardees per asset, and formation of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) by awardees in line with the respective letters of the award.

Consequently, he said the Commission has enjoined awardees with the indicated issues to avail themselves of the resolution mechanism provided, in the overriding national interest.

Komolafe also stated that the Commission was collaborating with leaseholders to agree on transition mechanisms in line with the PIA and the aspirations of government for the marginal field bid round exercise.

Reminding successful awardees that the 45 days period for the payment of signature bonus as stipulated in the Marginal Field Guidelines has since lapsed, he assured those who have fully paid up that the Commission, as regulator and business enabler, would ensure all applicable guidelines to enable them progress to the next stage of the exercise were fully implemented.

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