The federal government has increased the number of oil blocks on offer in the 2024 marginal bid round.

Gbenga Komolafe, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), spoke on Tuesday at the pre-bid conference for the 2024 licencing round in Lagos.

On May 8, NUPRC invited investors to bid for 12 oil blocks and seven deep offshore assets in the 2024 marginal bid round.

In addition to the previously disclosed 12 oil blocks available in the bid round, Komolafe said the nation has placed more oil blocks for sale.

He said this follows the acquisition of more geological data, which resulted in the discovery of more prospective blocks — a feat achieved in partnership with multi-client partners.


Komolafe said details of the newly identified oil blocks “would be made available on the portal”.

“The newly identified blocks will be added to the pool of blocks originally scheduled for the bid exercise and their details will be made available on the bid round portal,” he said.

“In addition to these blocks, the seven deep offshore blocks from the 2022 mini-bid round exercise which cover an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m shall also be concluded along with this licensing round.”

Komolafe expressed the commission’s determination to carry out the bid round in a transparent manner in line with section 76 (1) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

He said each bloc was picked for its potential to strengthen the nation’s reserve and economic posterity, adding that as of April, Nigeria’s oil reserve stood at 37.5 billion barrels of oil, while gas reserve was 209 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

“We are not just a regulator, but a business enabler. This bid round will enable us an unprecedented opportunity to unlock Nigeria’s vast hydrocarbon potential, attract investment and propel our nation towards greater economic prosperity and shared prosperity,” Komolafe said.

The CEO called on investors to trust their investments in the Nigerian oil sector because it is cheaper for them to conduct exploration and production of oil in the country due to the depth of the oil wells.

“In the past the award of oil blocks culminated to the non-development of over 90 per cent of marginal fields, thus denying the federal government of reaping the intended benefits because such awards were not based on technical and financial considerations,” he said.

Going forward into the 2024 oil bid round, Komolafe said only investors with sufficient financial and technical capacity would be given consideration.

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