Oil firms, comprised of consortiums and joint venture partners were part of the 600 companies that bided for 57 marginal oil fields put on offer by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Speaking at the fourth Webinar series organised by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE,with the theme: Nigerian Marginal Field Bid Round: Implications, Challenges and Opportunities in Lagos, DPR chief executive officer, Sarki Anwalu, said the bid round exercise has been a success story for Nigeria.
Marginal fields are small oil fields that major oil companies considered unprofitable and auctioned to indigenous companies under a competitive bidding round.
DPR had on Monday June 1, 2020, launched its first licensing round for marginal oilfields 17 years after the last auctioned was conducted. The bid rounds will last 10 weeks and conducted electronically. The bids were closed on June 21.
The fields that are on offer are located on land, swamp and shallow offshore terrains
“There has been an increase of bidders’ participation by 30 per cent since the extension date to June 21. We are impressed and happy. As a regulator, if you are auctioning an oil field, you need to get at least 10 people going after a field. Till date over 600 companies, consortiums have shown interests. So, we can say that we are celebrating success. After the extension, we are moving according to schedules and now, we are at pre-qualification stage. Everything is going perfectly”, he stated
He noted that the bid round exercise is a good thing for the country as lots of people still willing to invest in the country.
“For us to put an offer marginal fields and over 600 companies, consortium, joint ventures partners shown interest, it shows that people have still believe in Nigeria’s economy.
Auwalu also disclosed that the Federal government is coming out with the National Acreage Management Strategy (NAMSTRA) before the end of this year.
NAMSTRA, he said is expected to put in place strategies to determine the nation’s periodic bid rounds, stressing that this became necessary for the nation’s oil industry to remain competitive within the Sub-sahara region.