June 18, 2024

NUPRC adds 17 new blocks to 2024 oil bid round


By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja ⁠

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, has added 17 new deep offshore oil blocks to the 2024 oil bid round, bringing the total blocks on offer to 36.

The blocks which are located across onshore Niger Delta, Continental shelf, and deep offshore are expected to increase the country’s reserves and boost its oil production.

NUPRC had in April unveiled 12 new acreages for the 2024 bid round with another seven deep offshore blocks from last year’s bid round.

The Commission in a document released on Tuesday signed by its Chief Executive, Engr Gbenga Komolafe titled: Nigeria oil block licencing round- Updates on 2022/2023 and 2024 licencing rounds, also reopened the commercial bid for the 2022/2023 licencing round.

Engr. Komolafe explained that the reopening was to allow investors to take advantage of improved fiscal incentives approved by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who doubles as the country’s Minister of Petroleum Resources.

He explained that “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 multiclient 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 seventeen deep offshore blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round. Further details on the blocks can be found on the bid portal.

“Lastly, in accordance with the published guidelines, we 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”.

He added: “It may be 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 had sought and obtained the approval of His Excellency, Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, who, as Petroleum Minister, in line with his avowed determination to create enabling and attractive investment regimes in the upstream oil and gas sector, 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”.