Nigeria Launches Marginal Fields Licensing Round
Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has announced the launch of a long-awaited licensing bid round for 57 marginal oil fields, the first such move by Africa’s largest crude oil producer since 2002.
The auction will be conducted electronically and the stages will include expression of interest/registration, pre-qualification, technical and commercial bid submission, and bid evaluation. The whole process is expected to be completed within 6 months, with the signing of farm-out agreements with successful leaseholders upon conclusion.
As per the DPR guidelines issued for the bid round, interested bidders will be required to pay an application, bid processing, data prying, data leasing, competent persons report fees, and a special fee for the Fields Specific Report. Altogether, the Nigerian government is projected to earn around NGN 2.36 billion (approximately US$6.1 million) through the various fees and levies.
The launch of the 2020 Marginal Bid Round is being viewed as a minor step towards improving Nigeria’s financial position. The country has struggled of late to attract investment in its oil & gas sector following a steady drop in capital expenditure by oil majors, which has been further exacerbated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.