For the first time ever, undeveloped discoveries in Nigerian Agip Oil Company operated acreages may be awarded as marginal fields, as it was learnt that two accumulations operated by the company are likely to be part of about 40 fields expected to be on offer when the Nigerian government launches the much awaited marginal fields bid round later in the year, Vanguard reports.

Sources in Agip, confirmed that preliminary data from two of the company’s operated undeveloped discoveries are in the “bid basket” of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the government agency responsible for conducting the bid round. Agip was said to have been unable to “participate” in marginal field awards since the exercise formally began in 2002 because, among all the international oil companies (IOCs), it has the least prospective acreages in Nigeria, especially onshore, where the bulk of undeveloped discoveries referred to as marginal fields are located.

Three out of the five major IOCs operating in Nigeria contributed fields in their acreages to the basket, during the landmark 2002/2003 marginal field bid round. ExxonMobil did not contribute any field in those awards but has, in the past 15 years since then, given up two marginal fields, Okwok and Ebok to the Nigerian government, to help boost indigenous capacity. Outside the 2002/2003 awards, Shell has contributed two more marginal fields. Unconfirmed sources indicated that the marginal field round is expected to be declared open latest September 2017.