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Minister: The 2024 oil bid round is not intended for politicians

May 10, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, serving as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), emphasized that the 17 oil blocs slated for sale in the 2024 bidding round present a unique opportunity for investors with substantial financial capacity and technical expertise. This is a chance to contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, rather than a platform for political figures.

Lokpobiri made these remarks during a conference organized by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) at the ongoing 2024 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, USA. The conference theme, “Sustainable Energy Solutions for Africa’s Future (Nigerian Perspective),” underscores the significance of energy sustainability.

He noted that previous allocations of oil blocs resulted in minimal development of over 90 percent of marginal fields, leading to missed opportunities for the Federal Government. These past awards often needed more consideration of technical and financial capabilities.

“We have observed numerous idle blocs with little to no investment over the past three years. Over 90 percent of bloc owners seek renewal without initiating development or investment,” Lokpobiri stated.

He stressed the necessity of capable investors who can effectively manage and develop these resources, distinguishing between genuine industry players and mere portfolio investors. Lokpobiri also announced the elimination of the 200 million signature bonus associated with bloc ownership, replacing it with requirements tied to operations and investment to incentivize rapid field development.

Furthermore, Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), underscored the immense significance of the Presidential Executive Orders issued in March. These orders are a crucial step towards enhancing the efficiency and attractiveness of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, a move that will undoubtedly increase the nation’s reserves, currently standing at 37.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 209.26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

The ongoing licensing round introduces twelve strategically selected blocs across diverse geological spectra, adhering to the robust legal framework of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA). Komolafe affirmed the Commission’s unwavering commitment to transparency and technological advancement, ensuring access to comprehensive geological data and analytical tools. This commitment is designed to facilitate informed decision-making for prospective investors, providing a secure and reliable investment environment.

The licensing round presents a significant opportunity to bolster Nigeria’s energy security, economy, and global energy sustainability goals while promoting transparency and attracting investments in the oil and gas sector.

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