15 Shallow Water Fields In The Basket For Nigeria’s 2013-2014 Bid Round
Close to 11 years after the first marginal field awards were granted, Nigeria has launched a second process, with 31 fields in the basket.
15 of the fields planned for auction to Nigerian independents are in shallow water (continental shelf), while the remaining 16 are located onshore, all in the Niger Delta basin, according to Diezani Alison-Madueke, the country’s minister of petroleum resources.
The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, will, within the next two weeks, undertake a road show to different parts of the country to enlighten stakeholders about the exercise, the minister said. The process is expected to end around mid 2014.
Chevron submitted 12 fields to the DPR for the purpose, including Olure, Bime, Omofejo in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 49. It also has Shango, Meta, Azama, Ruta and Oloye in shallow water OML 95, as well as Obira and Kudo, also in shallow water OML 89. It was not clear, as of last night, if all these fields were in the 31-field basket. For the first time, fields operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and ExxonMobil are going to be in a marginal field auction. NAOC submitted two fields, including the gas field Ajaketon, located in OML 63 and the Odimodi oil field, located in OML 62.
For the past three years, Mrs. Alison-Madueke has been under pressure to announce a bid round. She had announced the imminent commencement of the bid round over five times in that space of time, but the process never got ahead.
Seeking to allay fears about likely corruption of the process the Minister said that proper technical and commercial due diligence are to be carried out on the companies that would indicate interest in the oil blocks, adding that to encourage prospective bidders to participate in the process, government would want them to do so in consortia to enable the parties leverage on each others’ strengths.the road show would be followed by a three and half months period of competitive bidding process that would conform with government’s commitment to transparency and openness in the bid for the country’s assets.
Mrs Allison- Madueke recalled that out of the 24 marginal oil fields on offer to 31 Nigerian companies that participated in the bid in 2003, the minister said eight were currently producing, while the remaining ones were at various stages of development. She is particularly proud of the “achievement” of the 2002-2003 marginal field bid round. Out of the eight assets that have so far been divested from by the multinational oil operators, she noted, four were being held by active marginal field operators, who have continued to demonstrate technical ability in operating significantly larger assets.
“The successful companies currently contribute about one per cent to the country’s daily production capacity, with additional discoveries in excess of over 100 million barrels to the national reserve,” she remarked.