May 30, 2024

17 blocs Up for Sale: Minister flays over non-performance of marginal field owners

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Says bid round now tied to financial, technical capability

Adewale Akintaro
 
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Oil, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, yesterday frowned over the non-investment of marginal operators and owners of oil blocs, insisting that it will no longer extend blocs to non-performers or investors.
Speaking at the ongoing 2024 Offshore Technology Conference, OTC, in Houston, Texas, on the theme; OTC 2024 African Oil Industry Opportunities Session: 2024 Licensing Rounds, the Minister said over 90 percent of owners of the blocs have left it idle.
According to him, “We have noticed a lot of idle blocs and little or no investment done on them in the last three years of acquiring them. I can tell u for fact that over 90 percent of owners of these oil blocs are seeking renewal without commencing or investing in them.
“In this regard, we are saying no more to that and hence those seeking blocs must be financially and technically capable of turning it around and not mere portfolio investors.
“These set of investors are those we consider as men and not boys in the industry. Blocs are not for politicians as well so we are downplaying such kinds of investors in these new bid rounds.
“However, we have taken away the 200 million signature bonus tied to blocs ownership. What we have tried to achieve is to tie such to operations and investment which will encourage investors and drive investment speedily on a field.
“I have worked closely with the NUPRC to ensure that we achieve a seamless transition and bid round sales this year.”

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