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NUPRC Offers Additional 17 Deep Offshore Oil Assets For Sale, Extends Pre-qualification Deadline

THE Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) on Tuesday announced that with the acquisition of additional data on the oil assets up for sale, it was making available an extra 17 deep offshore for bids.

In May, the commission had invited investors to bid for 12 oil blocks and seven deep offshore assets in the 2024 marginal licencing round.

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In an update on the latest licencing round, the Gbenga Komolafe-led organisation stated that it had extended the date for pre-qualification from June 25 to July 5 this year.

“Furthermore, in pursuit of the commission’s commitment to derive value from the country’s abundant oil and gas reserves and increase production, the commission has been working assiduously with multi-client companies to undertake more exploratory activities to acquire more data to foster and encourage further investment in the Nigerian upstream sector.

“As a result of additional data acquired in respect of deep offshore blocks, the commission has added 17 deep offshore blocks to the 2024 licencing round. Further details on the blocks can be found on the bid portal,” it said.

It recalled that some deep offshore blocks were put on offer for the 2022/23 mini bid round and other blocks which cut across onshore, continental shelf and deep offshore terrains were also put on offer for the Nigeria 2024 licencing round.

In order to vacate entry barriers, the commission added that it had sought and obtained the approval of President Bola Tinubu, the petroleum minister, in line with his avowed determination to create enabling and attractive investment regimes in the upstream oil and gas sector.

According to the NUPRC, the president approved attractive fiscal regimes and also minimised entry fees for both licencing rounds by putting a cap on the signature bonus payable for award of the acreages.

“Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that the same bid criteria, in addition to the uniform signature bonus criteria, are applicable for both licencing rounds, to promote transparency and provide a level playing ground for all bidders.

“Since the criteria for the award of the oil blocks are now much more attractive than they initially were during the 2022/23 mini bid round, it is in the interest of equity and fair play to give all investors the same opportunity to bid for the assets.

“Consequently, all blocks in the 2022/23 and 2024 Licencing Rounds are available to all interested investors on br.nuprc.gov.ng and br2024.nuprc.gov.ng respectively, and the 2022/23 mini bid round registration phase is reopened to new applicants.

“The public is therefore invited to take advantage of this development and attractive entry terms and conditions and participate in the exercise,” the upstream regulator stated.

However, it said that all the prequalified applicants published on the 2022/23 mini bid round portal will not be required to go through a new pre-qualification process, as their technical submissions remain valid and eligible even for the 2024 licencing round.

It said that they may however wish to resubmit new commercial bids to take advantage of the more attractive criteria applicable to both licencing rounds and revise their bid bonds to adapt to the new bid criteria.

The NUPRC stressed that they were also free to bid for blocks on offer in the 2024 licencing round, explaining that to allow interested investors to take advantage of the expanded opportunities, the 2024 licencing round schedule has been amended.

“Registration/submission of pre-qualification documents which was initially scheduled to close on 25 June 2024 has been extended by 10 days and will now close on 5 July 2024.

“Data access/ data purchase/evaluation/bid preparation and submission which was initially scheduled to open on 4 July 2024 and close on 29/11/24 will now start on 8 July 2024 and close on 29/11/24 as previously scheduled,” the NUPRC said.

All other dates in the published 2024 licencing round schedule, it said, remained the same unless otherwise communicated.

In accordance with the published guidelines, the NUPRC noted that it had earlier indicated that some of the assets on offer should be applied for as clusters, namely: PPL 300-CS & PPL 301-CS, PPL 2000 and PPL 2001.

“Bidders are hereby advised that they may, at their option, bid for those blocks as clusters or as single units,” the commission said.

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