Nigeria’s federal government, through the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), on Thursday announced that 161 successful companies had been shortlisted to advance to the next and final stage of the bid round for 57 marginal oilfields.
According to the DPR, a marginal field is any field that has reserves booked and reported annually to the DPR and has remained unproduced for a period of over 10 years.
In this case, the 57 marginal fields available for bidding include 11 fields revoked by the federal government for various reasons, including non-performance.
Earlier, the regulatory agency had said over 600 companies applied to be pre-qualified for the bid rounds for the marginal oilfields, an exercise which was last conducted in 2003.
The ongoing programme attracted widespread interest, prompting an extension of the deadline to June 21, with an almost 30 per cent increase in participation during the shift in date.
A statement on Thursday by the Head, Public Affairs of the DPR, Mr. Paul Osu, said the shortlisted firms were selected from the over 600 entities that applied for pre-qualification.
“The 2020 marginal oilfield bid round process is still ongoing in line with our published timelines on DPR website and bid portal.
“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 stated that the bid round began on June 1, 2020, adding that the DPR had put measures in place to ensure that the awardees would be credible investors with technical and financial capability.
According to him, the objective of the 2020 marginal field bid round is to deepen the participation of indigenous companies in the upstream segment of the industry and provide opportunities for technical and financial partnerships for investors.
Osu said Nigeria last conducted marginal field bid rounds 17 years ago, with 16 of the fields now contributing two per cent to the national oil and gas reserves, while bringing development to their host communities in the Niger Delta.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bid round is being conducted electronically, including expression of interest/registration, pre-qualification, technical and commercial bid submission as well as bid evaluation.
The first bid round that was formally organised by the government began in 2001 and was concluded in 2003, with 24 licences awarded to 31 indigenous companies at the end of the exercise.
However, another bid round proposed for 2013 did not hold.
According to the current DPR guidelines, interested bidders were required to pay a total of $115,000 and N5m in non-refundable statutory fees comprising an application fee of N2 million per field.
It also involves a bid processing fee of N3 million per field, data prying fee of $15,000 per field, data leasing fee of $25,000, competent persons report of $50,000 and $25,000 for fields specific report.
The federal government is expected to raise monies from the bid process and sale of the marginal oilfields to augment a huge shortfall in its revenue projections, by up to 60 per cent, occasioned by the instability in the global oil market.