Despite the restraining order by Federal High Courts in Lagos against the Federal Government from selling and accepting bids for some marginal oil fields, there has been widespread interest expressed in the bid round of the oil fields.
Over 300 companies have applied to be prequalified for the Nigerian Marginal Field Bid Round, with many others unable to gain access to the portal within the 3 weeks that the bid round was launched.
According to a monitored report, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources pointed out that it is likely that over 500 companies would have applied within the 3 weeks.
Marginal fields are oil fields that have been discovered by major international oil companies (IOCs) in Nigeria in the course of exploring larger acreages and which fields have not been developed for more than 10 years.
According to a retired reservoir engineer, “It would take around $150,000 for a qualified application to get all the way to signature bonus and a number of Nigerian businessmen. Once you get to the point of being qualified and all you have to pay is the signature bonus, you are there. There is the impression that a marginal field license has conferred on you some entitlement.”
It should be noted that the submission of technical/commercial bids during the entire exercise, ends on August 16, 2020. Consequently, between June 21 and August 16, the following will happen:
- Evaluation of submission and preparation of report, June 22 to July 5
- Announcement of Pre-Qualified Applicants and Issuance of Field Teasers by July 5
- Data Prying, Leasing, Purchase of Reports from July 6 to August 16
- Payment of Application and Bid Processing Fee and Submission of Technical and Commercial Bid from July 6 to August 16.
The schedule means that the heavy lifting will happen between July 6 and August 16.
It can be recalled that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) about 3 weeks ago, announced the opening of its Marginal oil bid round for 57 fields that are located on land, swamp and shallow offshore terrains. This was the first in almost 20 years.
The DPR, the oil industry regulator, however, about 11 days ago, announced the extension by 1 week to June 21, the deadline for the registration of interest to bid for the marginal oilfields.