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Oil Blocs Licensing To End In April, FG Invites Investors


Bauchi, Gombe Fight Over Kolmani Oil Wells Weeks After Buhari's Supervision

The Federal Government has announced that the licensing round for seven deep offshore open oil blocs would be ending in April 2023.

It was gathered that the licensing exercise which started on January 3, 2023, would last for four months.

Naija News reports that the Chief Executive, of Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe revealed the deadline for the exercise on Monday in Lagos at the pre-bid conference for the 2022/2023 licensing round of petroleum prospecting licences in deep offshore Nigeria.

Komolafe disclosed that the federal government is inviting investors with capability and experience in deep water operations from across the world to embrace the fiscal provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and join in bidding for the oil blocs.

According to him, the approval of the exercise by the President Muhammadu Buhari was the first in the last 15 years.

While speaking to the conference’s theme “Growing Upstream Investment in Nigeria through Licencing Round: The Bid Process and Opportunities,” Komolafe submitted that the commission had announced the commencement and launched the bid round portal which was officially opened on January 3, 2023.

He advanced that “The exercise is scheduled to last for approximately four months along the following processes: registration and pre-qualification, data prying/purchase, technical bid submission/presentation, technical bid evaluation, and commercial bid conference.”

The NUPRC boss explained that the provisions of the PIA 2021 and regulations made pursuant to the Act, the commission issued a licensing round guideline and published a licensing round plan for a total of seven deep offshore open blocs, which includes include PPL-300-DO, PPL-301-DO, PPL-302-DO, PPL-303-DO, PPL-304-DO, PPL-305-DO and PPL-306-DO.

He said the bid rounds were within the context of the commission’s legal and regulatory frameworks, as enshrined in Section 73 of the PIA, which sought to encourage new investors and investments into the next phase of oil and gas exploration in Nigeria.

Komolafe said, “The seven deep offshore blocks, covering an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m, are on offer in this mini-bid round.
“These are intended to be the first in a series of bid rounds aimed at further development of our prospective petroleum basins.

“Let me clearly indicate that this pre-bid conference is a clarion call to technically and financially capable local and foreign investors to invest and take advantage of the generous fiscal and regulatory regime in the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector.

“The mini-bid round is a market-driven programme expected to outperform the last bid round which was held in April 2007 during which a total of 45 blocs were put on offer under a different regulatory regime (the Petroleum Act, 1969).”

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It was also learnt that the pre-bid conference was held following the announcement of the 2022/2023 mini-bid round exercise on December 22, 2022.