January 12, 2023

FG seeks Spanish investments to boost oil production


By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja

The Federal Government on Thursday expressed the hope that Spanish companies would get involved in the deep offshore mini-bid process that offered seven oil blocks to investors.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva who hosted the Foreign Minister of Spain, Jose Albares in Abuja said the European country was an important trading partner of Nigeria.

Chief Sylva said Spain was a big importer of Nigeria’s liquefied natural gas, expressing the hope that both countries would continue to expand trade relations in the coming years.

According to him, “Our relationship with Spain goes way back and if you listened to the MD of NLNG, he said Spain has been a partner and customer of NLNG from inception.

“As a country we need all the investments that we require. The oil and gas sector is at the core of our economy and he has come in with these arrays of investors, very major companies in Spain, then I am sure that we have the potential of having a lot of investment coming into Nigeria from now on.

“NUPRC has already pitched and they are already in the process of having a bid round. With this number of investors on the table which ordinarily they would have gone, they have them here. As a country we need a lot of FDI (foreign direct investment)”, he added.

He disclosed that the Spanish delegation has also indicated interest in the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project, noting that the gas project would allow Nigeria to sell its vast resources to countries in Europe.

Earlier, Mr. Albares observed that Nigeria was Spain’s second largest trading partner in Africa, describing Nigeria as a strategic partner to Spain.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, had earlier stated that the “Mini Bid Round intends to build on the successes of the last bid round that held in April 2007 during which a total of forty-five (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. The 2007 bid round was held under a different regulatory regime (the Petroleum Act, 1969) and generated massive interest and participation with its attendant revenue which made the exercise a success.  

“In this year’s Mini Bid Round, seven Offshore blocks covering an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m is put on offer”.