May 30, 2024

Nigeria’s re-unveiled licensing round features 12 oil block

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Ilenre Irele

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) recently unveiled Nigeria’s 2024 licensing round features 12 deep offshore and shallow water blocks oil blocks – including 5 blocks from last year’s round – and is available for bidding through January 2025.

Recall Nigeria is looking to attract local and international explorers to its acreage, with a view to increasing its reserve base and maximizing production.

“Each block has been chosen for its potential to bolster our national reserves… We are committed to conducting the licensing round in a fair, competitive and transparent manner and ensuring a level playing field for indigenous and international investors,” said Dr. Kelechi Ofoegbu, NUPRC Executive Commissioner.

Nigeria is seeking to accelerate upstream investment, with the Federal Government implementing tax credits for non-associated gas greenfield development and commercial incentives for deepwater oil and gas projects. Leading operators including Shell, TotalEnergies and Chevron have pledged billions in developing Nigeria’s oil and gas supplies, coupled with onshore and marginal field opportunities for local and junior explorers.

“The activities of investors in oil and gas are no longer done in such a way that the environment is impacted negatively… Owners collaborating with operators to ensure that activities are carried out seamlessly is a testament to the new investment drive in Nigeria,” said John Amin, Managing Director, Platform Petroleum.

“There are a lot of opportunities onshore for local entrepreneurs. The regulatory framework –having a $2 fee on flaring and a $3.4 price on local gas – will enable local entrepreneurs to turn into gas producers. That’s an area of small, but very profitable investments – wells can be drilled with triple digit returns,” said Per Magnus, Senior Partner & Head of Analysis, Rystad Energy.

In addition to driving upstream exploration, Nigeria is prioritizing the expansion of its downstream sector, having launched several large-scale projects targeting enhanced energy security and oil refining and gas processing capabilities. These include the Train 7 expansion project at the Nigeria LNG plant – increasing Nigeria’s LNG production capacity to 30 million tons per year by 2027 – as well as the 650,000-bpd Dangote Refinery that came online at the start of this year, creating a sizable new domestic market for Nigeria’s crude oil.

“On the downstream side, we are looking at where investments can be segmented – it’s not just refining, but also ports, terminals, pipeline infrastructure, CNG fleets, LPG and so on. The goal is to develop a robust intra-African oil and gas industry whereby we can balance energy security with energy transition,” said Anibor Kragha, Executive Secretary, African Refiners and Distributors Association.

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