NUPRC closes 2020 marginal oilfield bid, cancels status of some potential awardees over failure to pay the signature bonus

… calls for application from eligible reserve bidders

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has announced the closure of the 2020 marginal field bid round programme, and forfeiture of potential award letters and all other offers made to potential awardees who failed to pay the signature bonus for their respective equity participation.

This was made known in a public notice seen by Energyday, which was issued by Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC, on Monday, January 24, 2022, following the expiration of the forty-five(45) calendar days allowed for payment of the requisite signature bonus.

Komolafe in the notification letter addressed to the general public and all recipients of the letters of the notification of potential awardee status in the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round(MFBR) that the 45 calendar days allowed for the payment of the requisite signature bonus have since lapsed.

He said, “Accordingly, in line with the rules and regulation governing the 2020MFBR and the notification of Potential award letters , all offers made to potential awardees who have failed to pay the signature bonus for their respective equity participation have expired by operation of the law and such interests have reverted to the bid basket due to expiration of time for payment of the applicable signature bonus.

The Commission accepts no responsibility or liability in respect of any action or activity by any such potential awardees, their partners , associates, representatives or privies in further pursuit of any consideration or award under the said MFBR.

“Participating interest for the field where the potential awardees have failed to pay all required signature bonus will be pro-rated and the portion not paid for has automatically reverted to the bid basket and will be offered to reserved bidders in line with the paragraph 9(iii)of the MFBR guidelines .

“This is to ensure maximum participation of a wide cross section of Nigerians.

“Eligible reserve bidders will be contacted shortly to provide proof of funds for payment of the applicable signature bonus, as a basis for the issuance of the potential award letters for the equity participation taken back into the bid basket.

Recall that the Marginal fields are known oil or gas discoveries on an International Oil Company (IOC)-owned block, that have not been active in at least 10 consecutive years. With the agreement of the IOC, the now defunct DPR, carved out a piece of land surrounding the discovery as Marginal field.

The bid round which began on June 1, 2020, came about eighteen (18) years after the last similar exercise in 2003 and was opened to indigenous oil and gas companies and investors interested in participating in the exploration and production business in Nigeria.

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