Home News FG Announces Bidding Process for 17 New Oil Blocks

FG Announces Bidding Process for 17 New Oil Blocks

by Lovina

On Tuesday, the Federal Government announced the addition of 17 deep offshore oil blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round for oil fields in Nigeria.

Recall that some deep offshore blocks were recently put on offer for the 2022/23 mini-bid round and other blocks which cut across onshore, continental shelf and deep offshore terrains were also put on offer for the Nigeria 2024 Licencing Round.

Precisely on May 8, the government invited investors to bid for 12 oil blocks and seven deep offshore assets in the 2024 marginal fields bid round.

Also on June 12, 2024, it was reported that the Federal government had increased the number of oil blocks on offer in the 2024 marginal bid round.

The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, disclosed this at the pre-bid conference for the 2024 licencing round in Lagos.

Providing updates on the 2022/2023 and 2024 licencing rounds, Komolafe, in a statement he signed and issued in Abuja on Tuesday, said 17 deep offshore blocks have been added to the 2024 Licensing Round.

He said, “In pursuit of the commission’s commitment to derive value from the country’s abundant oil and gas reserves and increase production, the commission has been working assiduously with multi-client companies to undertake more exploratory activities to acquire more data to foster and encourage further investment in the Nigerian upstream sector.

“As a result of additional data acquired in respect of deep offshore blocks, the commission has added 17 deep offshore blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round. Further details on the blocks can be found on the bid portal.”

Komolafe further stated that “by the published guidelines, we had earlier indicated that some of the assets on offer should be applied for as clusters, namely: PPL 300-CS & PPL 301-CS, PPL 2000 and PPL 2001. Bidders are hereby advised that they may, at their option, bid for those blocks as clusters or as single units.”

For clarification, he said bidders should refer to the Frequently Asked Questions Sections of the 2022/23 and 2024 Licensing Round portals, or contact the upstream regulatory agency.

The NUPRC boss also stated that to allow interested investors to take advantage of the expanded opportunities, the 2024 Licencing Round schedule had been amended.

He said, “Registration/submission of pre-qualification documents which was initially scheduled to close on June 25, 2024, has been extended by 10 days and will now close on July 5, 2024.

“Data access/data purchase/evaluation/bid preparation and submission which was initially scheduled to open on July 4, 2024, and close on 29/11/24 will now start on July 8, 2024, and close on 29/11/24 as previously scheduled.

“All other dates in the published 2024 licencing round schedule remain the same unless otherwise communicated.”

He stated that to vacate entry barriers, the commission had sought and obtained the approval of President Bola Tinubu, who, as petroleum minister, approved attractive fiscal regimes and also minimised entry fees for both licencing rounds by putting a cap on the signature bonus payable for the award of the acreages.

“Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that the same bid criteria (in addition to the uniform signature bonus criteria) are applicable for both licencing rounds, to promote transparency and provide a level playing ground for all bidders.

“Since the criteria for the award of the oil blocks are now much more attractive than they initially were during the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round, it is in the interest of equity and fair play to give all investors the same opportunity to bid for the assets,” Komolafe stated.

Based on this, he declared that all blocks in the 2022/23 and 2024 Licencing Rounds were now available to all interested investors the websites developed for the exercise by the NUPRC, adding that the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round registration phase had been reopened to new applicants.

“The public is therefore invited to take advantage of this development and attractive entry terms and conditions and participate in the exercise.

“However, all the pre-qualified applicants published on the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round portal will not be required to go through a new pre-qualification process, as their technical submissions remain valid and eligible even for the 2024 Licencing Round.

“They may, however, wish to re-submit new commercial bids to take advantage of the more attractive criteria applicable to both licencing rounds and revise their bid bonds to adapt to the new bid criteria. They are also free to bid for blocks on offer in the 2024 Licencing Round,” Komolafe stated.

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