The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), chief executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, has said that 17 out of the 30 marginal oil fields awarded beginning from 2020 are currently producing.
Komolafe who delivered a key note address at the 2022 Annual conference of the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) with the theme: Energy Transition – PIA and Marginal Field Prospects and Challenges held in Lagos, noted that since its inception, a total of thirty (30) fields have been awarded, with seventeen (17) currently producing.
A breakdown of the allocation of the fields to indigenous operators is as follows: two fields awarded in 1999, 24 in 2003/2004, one each in 2006 and 2007, and two in 2010. Ten years after, in 2020, 57 fields were put up for bidding.
It will be recalled that one of the major tasks inherited by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), upon its inauguration last year, was the need to conclude the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round exercise. Consequently, we pursued the matter frontally and are delighted to inform you that the exercise which commenced in June 2020 has been concluded with the issuance of Petroleum Prospecting License (PPL)to the deserving awardees.
The issuance of the PPL, he said, has ushered in a new dawn for our indigenous operators to hit the ground running in developing their awarded assets in line with industry best practices and to take full advantage of the increasing crude price in the international market.
“It is significant to note that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act has brought an end to the era of Marginal Field awards. Section 94(9) of the Act states that “No new Marginal Field shall be declared under this Act”. Accordingly, the Minister shall now award PPL on undeveloped fields following an open, fair, transparent, competitive, and non-discriminatory bidding process in line with Sections 73 and 74 of the Act.
“Historically, the marginal fields award initiative of Government was borne out of the need to establish the indigenization policy in the Upstream sector of the oil and gas industry and build local content capacity. Beside these, it was also targeted at creating employment opportunities and encouraging increased capital inflow to the sector”, he explained.