Oil bidding: NUPRC to enhance sale, operations of 19 oil blocks

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC has promised to create a sustainable environment for the sale and operations of Nigeria’s 19 oil blocks put forward for sale by the government.The blocks include 12 Petroleum Prospecting Leases, PPLs – 300, 301, 3008, 3009, 2000, 2001, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271 and Petroleum Mining Lease, PML 51 – while the Deep Offshore Blocks, PPLs are 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305 and 306.

Commission Chief Executive, CCE, NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, gave the promise during the opening of the Nigerian Pavilion at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference, OTC, in Houston, United States of America.He said the promise aligned with the mandate of President Bola Tinubu that bidders for assets in the 2024 licensing round are assured of seamless entry into the nation’s oil and gas industry.He said Nigeria’s licensing round constitutes a mouthwatering offer, especially as the nation remains an investment destination of choice for local and foreign investors.

In a telephone interview with Vanguard, Engr. Komolafe also said: “Our mission at the OTC is to leverage one of the largest oil and gas events globally to showcase the huge hydrocarbon potentials and investment opportunities in Nigeria and in a likewise manner canvass for the participation of financially and technically capable players in the deep offshore to participate at the Nigerian 2024 licensing round for overwhelming success of the important exercise.“This is in furtherance of the declaration of our dear president Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that Nigeria is ready for business with practical demonstration of that through the recent executive orders on various fiscal and policy incentives to enhance business in the oil and gas sector.

“The NUPRC as the implementing arm of government and the Executive is committed to the implementation of the goals and focus of Mr. President in the sector as demonstrated and in line with the intent of the PIA. We have announced locally, now that we are going offshore to launch the bid in the roadshow.”He also said, “However, feedback has been positive on potential investors’ enthusiasm. Don’t forget that for the first time in history, President Tinubu, as a petroleum minister, has vacated front entry barriers to investment in oil blocks awards in all terrains.

“The focus of the bid will be on technical and final capacity to proceed to the field on work programs, after awards while hitherto signature Bonus has been dropped to a token and replaced with Production Bonus.“The reform in the licensing rounds process is to refocus the energy of investors on hydrocarbon carbon resources development and optimization.“The hitherto huge amounts tied down as front entry Signature Bonus constituting barrier is now drastically minimized and expected to be channeled by awardees as part of Capital expenditures, CapEx for field development.”

Earlier, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, said despite the global call for energy transition, petroleum would remain a major source of energy for a very long time, therefore requiring increased investment.He said, “Historically, no source of energy goes away. So, do not be deceived that fossil fuel will go away. We need to invest more resources in the industry and the current assets present a huge opportunity to investors.”