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FG realised N174b from 2020 marginal field bid round

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), has said about N174 billion was realised from the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round (MFBR) programme.

The Commission Chief Executive (CCE), Gbenga Komolafe, made this known on Thursday, in Abuja, during the NUPRC engagement with awardees and leaseholders.

A marginal field is a field which had been lying fallow without activity for seven years or more after its discovery.

The Marginal fields programme is targeted at promoting indigenous participation, increasing oil and gas reserves, production, capital inflow, generating employment and building local capacity in the upstream petroleum sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that in a keynote address, Komolafe noted that 57 fields were identified for the 2020 bid round in which a total of 665 entities expressed interest.

He said after extensive evaluation processes as laid down in the guidelines, 161 entities emerged potential awardees, with 247 unsuccessful bidders.

Komolafe continued: “Signature bonuses for 119 awards were fully paid, nine awards were partly paid for and 33 awards were not paid for. This resulted in various challenges inhibiting the close-out of the exercise.

“The marginal field guidelines provided for 45 days for the payment of signature bonus which has since elapsed, and we have issued a public notice to that effect as well as notified the relevant potential awardees.

“Concerted efforts are being made to ensure that the 2020 MFBR exercise is completed within the shortest possible time.”

The CCE recalled that on assumption of duty, the NUPRC management set up a committee to look into issues surrounding the bid round and initiate strategies to resolve them.

Among such issues are the formation of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), equity participation, and part payments.

Signature bonuses for 119 awards were fully paid, nine awards were partly paid for and 33 awards were not paid for. This resulted in various challenges inhibiting the close-out of the exercise.

Post-award engagement

Komolafe said the committee had engagements with some awardees and would continue with these meetings in Lagos with another set of awardees this week.

He said the Commission, through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre (ADRC), had also offered an opportunity for co-awardees of the marginal fields to resolve issues speedily and amicably.

The engagement was also a forum for the Commission to state the policy position on the 2020 programme, to enable successful awardees progress to field development phase in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

Senior Technical Adviser to Komolafe, Abel Nsa, in a presentation entitled, “Post 2020 MFBR engagement status and policy direction,” highlighted the pre and post PIA marginal field fundamentals, concept, roadmap and development.

He disclosed that prior to 2020, 30 marginal fields were awarded, which included land (13), swamp (eight), and offshore (nine).

Also speaking, the Secretary and Legal Adviser of the NUPRC Board, Mrs Olayemi Anyanechi, said the programme is conceived as an indigenisation policy to develop local content and competence under Nigerian law.

In attendance were eligible awardees, who expressed satisfaction with the updates from the engagement, and urged the Commission to look into outstanding issues around the SPVs process, part payment and operational issues among others.

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