NUPRC awards marginal field licences to 161 coys

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has awarded Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) to 161 successful 2020 marginal fields awardees.

The Commission also officially unveiled the Host Communities Development Regulations and model PPLs.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, at the unveiling and licences presentation yesterday in Abuja, said the maiden presentation of the PPL was part of the implementation of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

Among the successful companies are Ardova Plc, Matrix Energy Ltd., Sun Trust Oil Company Limited, Deep Offshore Integrated Service Ltd., Island Energy Ltd. and Sigmund Oil Field Ltd.

Others are Shafa Exploration and Production Company Ltd., Emadeb Energy Ltd., Zigma Ltd., Inland Basin Ltd. and Petraco Oil Ltd., among others.

The 57 fields presented in the 2020 bid round met the criteria and were subsequently offered for bidding.

Out of the 665 entities that expressed interest in the exercise, 161 emerged as potential awardees while out of the 57 fields, 41 were fully paid for.

Also, 37 fields were issued with the PPL having satisfied all conditions for award.

The Minister commended the management and staff of the NUPRC for ensuring the successful completion of the process, which began in 2020, which he described as a giant milestone for the administration.

He said: “The implementation of the PIA 2021 is in top gear. Consequently, the new awardees should note that their assets will be fully governed by the provisions of the PIA 2021.

“As you develop your assets with the special purpose vehicles (SPVs), ensure that good oilfield practice is employed, environmental considerations and community stakeholders’ management are not neglected.

“It is my strong belief that the awardees would take advantage of the current attractive oil prices to bring these fields into full production within a short period to increase production, grow reserves and reduce cost of production.

“The onboarding of new oil and gas players in the petroleum sector is part of this government’s policy to encourage more indigenous participation in our petroleum operations.”

Sylva said the development would boost activities in the oil and gas sector, while also creating additional employment opportunities for Nigerians.

As you develop your assets with the special purpose vehicles (SPVs), ensure that good oilfield practice is employed, environmental considerations and community stakeholders’ management are not neglected.

Concluding the bid round

Earlier, the Commission Chief Executive (CCE), NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, recalled that one of the major tasks the agency inherited upon its inauguration in 2021 was the need to conclude the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round.

He said the exercise was faced with several constraints, which included the COVID-19 interruption, partial payment of Signature Bonuses by some awardees, and the unwillingness of co-awardees to work together in forming SPVs for field development.

He said the marginal field’s award initiative began in 1999, to entrench the indigenisation policy of government in the upstream sector and build local content capacity, adding that a total of 30 fields have been awarded with 17 currently producing  since its inception.

He informed that the 2020 Bid Round had attracted about N200 million and $7 million in revenue, even as the passage of the PIA brought an end to the era of Marginal Field awards.

“Section 94 (9) of the Act states that no new Marginal Field shall be declared under this Act.”

“Accordingly, the Minister shall now award PPL on undeveloped fields following an open, fair, transparent, competitive, and non-discriminatory bidding process in line with Sections 73 and 74 of the Act,” he quoted.

Komolafe said the impact of the upswing in the crude oil prices was not reflecting in Nigeria’s revenue earnings due to disruptions in national oil production owing to sabotage, theft, and other operational challenges.

He urged the potential companies to take advantage of the current market realities and quickly bring their fields to production.

Speaking on the unveiled Host Communities Development Regulations, he said it was significant for the commencement of implementation of the provisions of Section 235 of the PIA, for the attraction of dividends to the host communities. (NAN)

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