February 27, 2024
THE Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, yesterday, offered seven deep offshore oil blocks to investors in what it describesd as “mini-bid round 2022,” as part of efforts to boost oil production and generate revenue for the government.

NUPRC offers 7 offshore oil blocks to investors in a mini-bid round

THE Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, yesterday, offered seven deep offshore oil blocks to investors in what it describesd as “mini-bid round 2022,” as part of efforts to boost oil production and generate revenue for the government.

The commission’s Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, who announced the commencement of the bid round process in Abuja, said it was an opportunity to spur new exploration and drilling activities in the prospective deep waters offshore Nigeria.

The oil block bid round is the first since 2007 when 45 oil blocks were offered to investors. It comes as Nigeria continues to struggle to meet its 1.8 million barrels per day oil production quota set by OPEC.

Komolafe explained that the process which would be market driven will be conducted in line with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

According to him, “The Mini Bid Round will be managed by NUPRC, in line with the provisions of the PIA, as the statutory body responsible for ensuring compliance with petroleum laws, regulations, and guidelines in the Nigerian upstream petroleum industry.

“The National Data Repository, NDR, of NUPRC and our multi-client partners are delighted and ready to support the Mini Bid Round underpinned by high-quality datasets. The blocks have extensive 2D and 3D seismic data coverage, including multi-beam and analogue data. Additionally, a remarkable quality, 3D MegaSurveyPlus reprocessed Pre-stack Time Migration (completed October 2022), with angle stacks and gathers is also available to prospective bidders. Links to all data can be accessed via the dedicated NUPRC portal.”

He explained that “The Mini Bid Round will follow a transparent and competitive procurement process designed to attract competent third-party investors from across the world that have the capability and proficiency in operating in deep-water environments.

“Historically, this Mini Bid Round intends to build on the successes of the last bid round that held in April 2007, during which a total of 45 blocks, drawn from the inland Basins of Anambra, Benue and Chad; the Niger Delta Continental Shelf; Onshore Niger Delta and Deep Offshore were put on offer. The 2007 bid round was held under a different regulatory regime (the Petroleum Act, 1969) and generated massive interest and participation with its attendant revenue which made the exercise a success.

“In this year’s Mini Bid Round, seven Offshore blocks covering an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m is put on offer,” he added.

Komolafe who declined to give a timeline on when the process would be concluded or how much the government hopes to generate, said a pre-bid conference was scheduled for January 16, 2023, to provide potential applicants with an opportunity to ask questions they may have concerning the Mini Bid Round process and requirements, after which interested companies would be invited to submit their pre-qualification applications by 31st Jan 2023.

He also disclosed that as part of efforts to implement the PIA 2021 and improve the relationship between oil companies and oil host communities, 63 host communities trusts have been created across the Niger Delta region.

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