Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC said it has concluded plans to sell 12 deep offshore oil blocks in 2024 as part of measures targeted at increasing investment that will ultimately raise Nigeria’s oil reserves toward 40 billion barrels, from the present 37 billion barrels. The Commission Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, who confirmed the development at a meeting with members of Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS and Independent Petroleum Producers Group, IPPG, in Lagos, said “let me seize this opportunity to announce that in line with the provisions of Section 73 of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA. The commission will conclude the 2022/2023 Mini-bid Round and as well, conduct a new bid round of 12 blocks located in the continental shelf and deep offshore. We hereby call on investors to participate in the bid round process that will commence soon for shared prosperity.
“Permit me to extend my gratitude for your unwavering commitment to the development of our hydrocarbon resources as an industry and to work with us as a regulator for the realisation of the action plan. Let us therefore embrace our challenges with optimism knowing that our collaborative efforts will propel the Nigerian upstream petroleum industry to greater heights.” Providing more information, Komolafe, said: “Be assured that the commission has considered possible implications and has designed planned responsibility to accommodate industry dynamics. Our goal is to enhance and facilitate a business environment that is resilient, adaptable and align with global best practices. “As members of OPTS and IPPG, you will continue to play pivotal role in shaping the industry response to the evolving energy dynamics for the prosperity of our nation. The implementation of the Regulatory Action Plan will be collaborative effort to our mutual benefits.
“To facilitate open communication, we will be establishing dedicated platform for continuous engagement on the regulatory action plan. This platform will provide all stakeholders, OPTS and IPPG, inclusive with opportunities to share insights, seek clarifications and actively participate in shaping the landscape for our collective good.” On metering, Komolafe, said the commission will be engaging certified metering experts to conduct technical integrity audit of the metering facilities in the Nigerian upstream sector, adding that, “The commission has equally put in place a robust framework to guide issues of divestment and implementation of the decommissioning and abandonment and for community development trust. In the weeks ahead, the commission will be conducting a tour of upstream facilities in Nigeria.” In his response, the Vice Chairman, Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, Osagie Okumbor, who commended the efforts of the Commission, pledged the support of the OPTS to ensure success.
Similarly, the Chairman of IPPG, Abdulrazaq Isa also pledged the cooperation of the group towards the success of government efforts. In its policy statement had earlier stated: “The Commission shall, beginning 2024, conduct all future licensing rounds based on a Licensing Round Plan and modern acreage licensing practices, to include the periodicity of licensing based on predictability of timelines and long-term national economic and developmental agenda. He said the exercise will enable Nigeria accomplish set objectives, including the generation of funds, attract fresh investments in exploration and development, meet exploration or production targets, increase reserves, advance bilateral relationships, promote indigenous participation and domestic wealth and monetise its gas resources for enhanced domestic supply or to expand global market share.”