May 30, 2021

Marginal fields: DPR ready to present award letters to winners

Department of Petroleum Resources

Department of Petroleum Resources

By Udeme Akpan

THE Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Sunday, said it has concluded arrangements to issue award letters to successful investors in the 2020 marginal field bid round.

In a statement obtained by Vanguard, the Head, Public Affairs of the organisation, Mr. Paul Osu,  noted that the award ceremony has now been officially scheduled to hold on Monday, May 31, in Abuja.

The oil and gas industry regulator stressed that successful investors are companies that have fully satisfied all requirements listed in the marginal field bid round guidelines, including full payment of signature bonuses within the specified time frame.

The process, which culminated in the presentation of award letters, commenced in June 2020 with 57 marginal oil fields on offer for investors with the objective of deepening indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry as well as adding to the country’s production and reserve.

The marginal field bid round, the DPR stated, is also geared towards providing technical and financial partnerships for investors.

“The Department of Petroleum Resources will continue to provide transparent regulatory oversight for the oil and gas industry to enable business and create opportunities for investors,” the statement noted.

Recently, the Director of the DPR, had stated that the country was expected to generate $500 million from the signature bonuses on the fields, the first marginal field round since 2002.

Auwalu had said DPR had narrowed the list of bidders to 161 and would mark the first first time Nigeria would allow companies to pay oilfield acquisition costs in naira.

READ ALSO: Marginal fields: DPR shortlists 161 firms for final stage

Having received the expected revenue, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, penultimate week revealed that the regulatory agency “rescued” Nigeria from a financial crisis by remitting the funds to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in April.

Sylva explained that since the DPR collected royalties on behalf of the federal government, it was able to fill the vacuum left by the NNPC in contributing to the federation account.

The minister, who did not mention the exact amount the DPR provided, said revenues from marginal field programmes were of use, when the nation was in dire need of funds to share among the federating units.

“I can’t say what the figure is, but the DPR has always contributed to the federation revenue, because they collect royalties, so they’ll continue to contribute.

“But as to filling the gap, it’ll not always be there, because NNPC has not said after not being able to contribute in May, it’ll stop entirely. NNPC has not announced it again. So, we cannot say for how long DPR is going to keep paying,” he said.