Chevron Nigeria Limited- a subsidiary of United States oil giant, Chevron Corporation- will contribute 12 fields to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) as part of the 31 marginal fields that would be offered to Nigerian independent companies by the Federal Government.
The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), a subsidiary of Italian oil company, ENI will also relinquish two marginal oil fields for the marginal fields bid round.
With proven reserves of about 10million barrels, marginal fields are considered uneconomical by the international oil companies (IOCs), hence the decision of the federal government to award the acreages to Nigerian companies.
Some of the marginal fields to be relinquished by Chevron to the Nigerian independents include Olure, Bime, and Omofejo in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 49.
Other marginal fields, according to Africa Oil + Gas Report, include Shango, Meta, Azama, Ruta and Oloye in shallow water OML 95.
Obira and Kudo marginal fields, also in shallow water OML 89, will also be relinquished by Chevron to boost indigenous participation in the upstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and ExxonMobil will also for the first time contribute marginal fields for the proposed auction.
According to Africa Oil + Gas Report, NAOC submitted two fields, including the gas field Ajaketon, located in OML 63 and the Odimodi oil field, located in OML 62.
Exactly 12 years after the federal government offered the first set of 24 marginal oil fields to Nigerian independent companies, the government had unveiled plans to kick-start a second licensing.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke said the marginal field licensing round was designed to increase exploration and production activities in the oil and gas sector to the benefit of Nigerians and the Nigerian economy.
She said a total of 31 fields would be on offer with 16 of them located onshore, while the remaining 15 are in the continental shelf.
She gave an assurance that the Federal Government would be committed to transparency in the bid process and encouraged companies indicating interest in the assets to form consortia that would enable them leverage upon each other’s strengths.
“Over the next two weeks, the Department of Petroleum Resources will undertake a road show to different parts of the country about the program. This will be followed by a three and a half-month of competitive bidding process in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to openness and transparency in the conduct of business activities in the country,” she said.
Giving an update on the last marginal fields bid round, which held in 2001, the minister disclosed that of the 24 fields that were allocated to 31 indigenous oil companies in that exercise, eight were already producing while the others are at various stages of development.
She noted that the marginal field operators who currently account for about one percent of the nation’s production have also recorded huge discoveries in excess of 100 million barrels to the nation’s reserve base.