NUPRC, Schlumberger to develop Nigeria’s frontier oil basins

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, on Sunday, announced that it would work with Schlumberger Global to develop frontier oil basins in Nigeria. Schlumberger, globally known as SLB Global, is a major player in the oil and gas industry, while Nigeria’s frontier basins are regions with potential for oil and gas reserves that have not been extensively explored yet. 

The Chief Executive, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, hosted a delegation from the global oil firm led by its President, Olivier Le Peuch, where both parties discussed developing Nigeria’s frontier basins, according to a statement issued in Abuja by the upstream regulatory commission. “Areas of mutual interest discussed include the development of Nigeria’s frontier basins and the integration of innovative technologies to enhance exploration and production efficiencies,” NUPRC stated,

The frontier basins hold promise for increasing Nigeria’s hydrocarbon production and they include the Anambra, Benue Trough (Lower, Middle, Upper), Chad (South-Eastern sector), Dahomey, Bida (Mid-Niger), Sokoto, and Deep/Ultra-deep offshore. The significance of the basins is that they are new sources of oil and gas revenue for Nigeria, with the potential for natural gas reserves for domestic use and export. NUPRC is responsible for overseeing frontier basin exploration through regulations, and the basins are seen as a way to ensure Nigeria’s long-term energy security and economic growth.

The statement stated that the meeting between NUPRC and Schlumberger underscored the commission’s commitment to fostering strategic partnerships that would enhance Nigeria’s oil production and operational efficiency. It said the purpose of the visit was to explore specific areas of collaboration and partnership between both organisations. During the meeting, Komolafe said the NUPRC adopts a participatory and collaborative approach to facilitate ease of doing business in the oil sector.

He highlighted several of the commission’s feats since its inception in 2021 under the Petroleum Industry Act, adding that key achievements include the establishment of 17 regulations aimed at improving industry standards and operational efficiency. “Additionally, the re-engineering of the Nigeria National Data Repository has been a significant milestone, promoting the monetisation of oil blocks and aligning regulations with global energy transition initiatives and carbon footprint reduction goals,” the commission stated.

It said Komolafe also mentioned the ongoing licensing rounds as a testament to the commission’s proactive approach in regulating the sector. “One notable achievement expounded upon was the NUPRC’s commitment to eliminating gas flaring and commercialising flared gas under the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme. “This initiative has designated 49 flare sites for commercialisation, demonstrating the commission’s dedication to environmental sustainability and resource optimisation,” the agency stated.

On his part, Le Peuch expressed satisfaction with the commission’s regulatory framework and indicated SLB Global’s readiness to collaborate. He reiterated the importance of such partnerships in unlocking Nigeria’s onshore and offshore oil potential, particularly through leveraging advanced technology. “At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that a contact team would be established to further investigate and identify more opportunities for collaboration. The team will focus on expanding the scope of mutual interests and ensuring that both organisations can effectively work together to achieve their shared objectives,” NUPRC stated.