By Macson Obojemoinmien
Nigeria’s oil and gas regulatory agency, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has not officially confirmed the speculation about the possible extension of the deadline for payment of signature bonus for the assets awarded in the ongoing bid round for marginal fields.
The deadline remains Wednesday April 21, 2021.
161 companies were reportedly pre-awarded stakes in 57 fields with signature bonuses tied to the percentage allocated to each company. Companies have been scrambling in the last two weeks to raise the money for signature bonuses.
The marginal field bid round is the first open hydrocarbon property sale in the country in 17 years.
It has also been the least transparent and challenging for participants to unpack.
Each of the 57 fields has more than one allottee and the partners on each field are expected to jointly create a Special Purpose Vehicle to operate the asset.
Signature bonus per field ranges from $5Million to $40Million and while the size of the bonus is expected to correlate with the overall economics of the field, there are questions regarding what methodology has been used to arrive at the numbers.
However muddled the process has been, the desire of participants to win slices of Nigerian hydrocarbon property has been quite robust.
The Nigerian government hopes to wrap up the process before the end of 2Q 2021 so it can prepare for the acreage licensing sale.