Nigeria: NUPRC considers mini-bid round in deep offshore

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) said it had begun a mini-bid round process to spur new oil exploration and drilling activities in the prospective deep waters offshore in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive (CCE), NUPRC in a statement said the mini-bid round was aimed at further development of the deep offshore acreages.

This, he said, would be held in accordance with the PIA with its enhanced legal and regulatory frameworks that sought to encourage new investors and investments into the next phase of exploration in this region.

“The mini-bid round will be managed by the NUPRC, in line with the provisions of the PIA, as the statutory body responsible for ensuring compliance with petroleum laws, regulations, and guidelines in the Nigerian upstream petroleum industry.

“The National Data Repository of NUPRC and our multi-client partners are delighted and ready to support the Mini Bid Round underpinned by high- quality datasets. The blocks have extensive 2D and 3D seismic data coverage, including multi-beam and analog data.

“Additionally, a remarkable quality, 3D MegaSurveyPlus reprocessed Pre-stack Time Migration (completed October 2022), with angle stacks and gathers is also available to prospective bidders.

“Links to all data can be accessed via the dedicated NUPRC portal.

“The mini-bid round is a market-driven programme and will follow a transparent and competitive procurement process designed to attract competent third-party investors globally that have the capability and proficiency in operating in deepwater environment,” he said.

He said the mini-bid round intended to build on the successes of the last bid round held in April 2007 during which a total of 45 blocks, drawn from the Inland Basins of Anambra, Benue and Chad; the Niger Delta Continental Shelf; Onshore Niger Delta and Deep Offshore were put on offer.

He recalled that the 2007 bid round was held under a different regulatory regime (the Petroleum Act, 1969) and generated massive interest and participation with its attended revenue which made the exercise a success.

In this 2022 mini-bid round, he said that seven offshore blocks covering an area of approximately 6,700 sq km in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m were put on offer.

He said the success of the mini-bid round would ensure all stakeholders gain value from the country’s resources, whilst paying close attention to reduction in carbon emissions, as well as overall environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.

According to him, a dedicated programme portal (br.nuprc.gov.ng) for the mini-bid round has been published by the NUPRC.

He further said that a pre-bid conference has been scheduled for Jan. 16, 2023 at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos.

Komolafe said the conference would provide potential applicants with an opportunity to ask questions concerning the mini-bid round processes and requirements.

He said that interested companies would be invited to submit pre-qualification applications by Jan. 31, 2023.

Komolafe assured that the NUPRC would continue to provide further details and roadmap for this international competitive mini-bid round in due course. “Interested applicants are by the publication invited to participate in the process,” he added.