The Federal Government has disclosed in Abuja at a meeting with the marginal field awardees and leaseholders where the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) outlined the policy position of the government on the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round (MFBR) that it had so far garnered N174 billion from the marginal oil field round programme.
A total of 128 awardees that emerged as successful bidders in the 2020 MFBR have made complete and part payments for signature bonuses in the oil fields, the Federal Government said on Thursday.
It also disclosed that out of the 128 awardees, 33 did not make payments during the 45 days window given to successful bidders to pay the required signature bonuses for the oil fields and as such had lost their awards to suitably qualified reserve bidders.
In his keynote address at the meeting, the Chief Executive, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, said efforts were being made to close the bid round and that the commission would support successful awardees who had paid the required signature bonuses.
According to Komolafe, fifty-seven fields were identified for the 2020 bid round exercise and a total of 665 entities expressed interest. He said, “After extensive evaluation processes as laid down in the guidelines. 161 entities emerged as potential awardees.
“Signature bonuses for 119 awards were fully paid, nine awards were partly paid for and 33 awards were not paid for. This has resulted in various challenges inhibiting the close-out of the exercise.”
Komolafe added, “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.
“It is pertinent to inform you that concerted efforts are being made to ensure that the 2020 MFBR exercise is completed within the shortest possible time.”
The defunct Department of Petroleum Resources issued letters of award to investors on May 31, 2021, for the production of crude oil from 87 marginal fields. Government stated at the time that some firms emerged successful for the awards and had called up some of them to receive their award letters.
The firms include A.A Rano Nigeria Limited, Duchess Energy and Emadeb Energy Services Limited.
Others include Matrix Energy Limited, Shafa Exploration and Production Company Limited, Kasiva Limited, DuPaul Mainstream Company Limited and Vhelbherg Exploration and Production Development Company Limited, among others.
In a presentation it made on Thursday, NUPRC explained that the concept of marginal field was conceived to entrenched the indigenization policy of the government in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
The objective was to promote indigenous participation, increase oil and gas reserves as well as ensure enhanced production in Nigeria.
Other objectives were to encourage capital inflow, generate employment and build local capacity in the country’s oil and gas industry.