FG begins bid round for seven deepwater oil blocks January

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has said it will offer seven deep offshore oil blocks to investors in its 2022 mini-bid round with the aim of spurring new exploration and drilling activities in the country’s prospective deep waters.

This was made known by Gbenga Komolafe, chief executive of NUPRC, who said the oil blocks under the bid exercise will cover an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m.

“A pre-bid conference is scheduled for 16th Jan 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 will be invited to submit their pre-qualification applications by 31st Jan 2023,” he said.

Komolafe said the bid round is the first in a series of bid rounds, aimed at further development of this prospective petroleum basin.

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He said it will be held in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA), with its enhanced legal and regulatory frameworks that seeks to encourage new investors and investments into the next phase of exploration in this region.

“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 forty-five (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 attended revenue which made the exercise a success,” he said.

He said the success of the bid round will ensure all stakeholders gain value from the country’s resources, whilst paying close attention to reduction in carbon emissions, as well as overall environmental, social and governance considerations.

Komolafe said the bid round is a market-driven programme and 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 environment.

He added that the exercise will be managed by the 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.

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