The head of public affairs for Nigeria’s petroleum sector regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Paul Osu, has announced that 161 local companies have been shortlisted as bidders for 57 marginal oilfields.
He made this announcement on December 31, 2020. “The current status is that 161 successful companies have been shortlisted to advance to the next and final stage of the process,” Osu said.
He said that the companies were selected based on their financial and technical capabilities from the 600 companies that applied when the bidding process commenced in June 2020. Osu said that the rejection of over 400 companies was based on non-performance and technical setbacks of the said companies.
Nigeria’s 2020 marginal field licensing round comes almost two decades after the country first launched its marginal field program. In the 2001 round, 24 licenses were awarded to 31 companies.
Osu expressed confidence that the newly released fields would perform creditably. Sixteen fields from the last marginal field licensing round in 2002 now contribute 2 percent of the country’s oil and gas reserves.
He added that the bid opens up a vista of opportunities for local and indigenous oil and gas firms in Nigeria to grow. It would also help in developing the Niger Delta region of the country, where oil is produced and which is massively affected by issues of gas flaring, water pollution and other adverse effects of drilling activities.
The marginal oil field licensing round creates a pathway for indigenous companies to gain a major foothold in the oil and gas sector and to grow significantly, as well as further promoting local ownership and operation of assets and creating new jobs across the country.