The Nigerian Government has shifted the deadline for the submission of Technical/ commercial bid for the 2022/2023 Deep Offshore oil block mini-bid process to May 19, as well as the timeline for the concluding activities of Ministerial consent/contract negotiation and signing between July 3 and 28, 2023.
Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) made this known in a statement released at the weekend and obtained by EnergyDay.
Komolafe said, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as the Petroleum Resources Minister, has approved the amendment of the 2022/2023 Deep Offshore oil block mini-bid process to accommodate concerns raised by potential local and international investors, over the terminal date of the current administration to the closure of the bid schedule.
The Commission Chief Executive (CCE) said that the amendments would also boost confidence in the transparency and continuity of the bidding process for oil acreage, which has been published as part of the Bid Round Guidelines.
He said, “The amendment would afford interested international oil companies enough time to enter into and conclude necessary joint venture arrangements with indigenous companies and to enable them to conduct a proper evaluation of relevant data by all bidders.
“The Technical/Commercial bid submission involves data access, purchase, evaluation, bid preparation and submission, bid evaluation and publication of results as well as commercial bid conference and announcement of winners,” the CCE said.
Engr. Komolafe further emphasised that the Commission is fully committed to conducting the bid round in a manner that guarantees the achievement of the objectives of the exercise, adding that the participation is both robust and beneficial to key stakeholders.
CCE said, “Constant interrogation and oversight of the process showed two concerns that the Commission felt might impact the success of the exercise if not immediately addressed.
“The concerns are a plan to conclude the bid process before the transition to the incoming government and the need to guarantee the participation of qualified indigenous companies, working collaboratively with multinational oil companies, and IOCss to leverage technology, funding and expertise in the deep offshore.
“NUPRC had announced the requirement for Joint Venture arrangements between international oil companies and indigenous companies and amended the guidelines accordingly.
“This measure would address the issue of collaboration between indigenous and interactional oil companies and be also in consonance with and support the Nigerian Content requirements of the bid round,” the NUPRC boss said.
Engr. Komolafe further emphasised that the measure is also in accordance with the 16(1) (a) of the Nigerian Constitution which provided that the resources of the nation should be harnessed in a manner that promoted national prosperity and an efficient, dynamic, and self-sustaining economy.
EnergyDay’s check showed that the mini bid round for deep offshore licensing round exercise is coming for the first time in 15 years, since 1993 when the Nigerian Government awarded commercial deepwater discovery, Bonga oil field (Oil Mining Lease, OML, 118) to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO). Thereafter, in 2007, other deepwater licensees including Agbami, Erha, Akpo, Egina, Usan were awarded to multinational oil companies.
The seven deep offshore open blocks are (PPL-300-DO, PPL-301-DO, PPL-302-DO, PPL-303-DO, PPL-304-DO, PPL-305-DO & PPL-306-DO). They spread across the Cretaceous Dahomey Basin and the Tertiary Niger Delta Basin covering an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m.