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Engr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC)

Federal Government harmonises criteria for Oil and Gas Bid Rounds to attract investments

The Federal Government has announced the harmonisation of criteria for the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round and the 2024 Licensing Rounds to attract new investments into Nigeria’s upstream oil and gas sector. This was disclosed by Engr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), in a statement on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

In 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari approved the offering of deep offshore blocks for the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round. Additional blocks across onshore, continental shelf, and deep offshore terrains were also included for the 2024 Licensing Round. During last year’s bid round, seven Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) were made available.

To boost confidence in the transparency of the process and remove entry barriers, the NUPRC sought and obtained approval from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is also the Petroleum Minister. The President’s approval, in line with his commitment to creating an attractive investment climate, included setting attractive fiscal regimes and capping the signature bonus payable for the award of the acreages.

Komolafe emphasised that the same bid criteria and uniform signature bonus criteria would apply to both licensing rounds to ensure transparency and fairness. Given the more attractive criteria, the NUPRC reopened the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round registration phase to new applicants.

All prequalified applicants from the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round will not need to go through a new pre-qualification process as their technical submissions remain valid for the 2024 Licensing Round. However, they can submit new commercial bids to take advantage of the revised criteria.

The NUPRC has also extended the registration/submission deadline for pre-qualification documents for the 2024 Licensing Round by 10 days. The new deadline is now July 5, 2024. The Data Access/Data Purchase/Evaluation/Bid Preparation and Submission phase will start on July 8, 2024, and close on November 29, 2024, as originally scheduled.

The Commission has added 17 deep offshore blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round based on new data from exploratory activities. Further details on these blocks can be found on the bid portal.

For clarification, interested parties can refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sections on the 2022/23 and 2024 Licensing Round Portals or contact the NUPRC via the provided email and phone number.

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