Concerns mount as 211 Nigerian oil blocks remain idle

Out of 390 oil blocks in the country, 211 are yet to be allocated by the Federal Government, latest data obtained from the Department of Petroleum Resources have shown.

With many other countries extending efforts to ramp up their oil and gas production and reserves, industry experts have voiced concerns about the lack of oil licensing rounds in Nigerian since 2008.

According to the DPR, 179 blocks have been allocated as of December 2017, comprising 111 Oil Mining Leases and 68 Oil Prospecting Licences.

The country has seven basins, namely Anambra, Benin, Benue, Bida, Chad, Niger Delta and Sokoto.

In Anambra, 12 out of 19 blocks have not been allocated; in Benin, 39 out of 50 are open; in Benue, 41 out of 43 are still idle, while none of the 17 blocks in Bida has been allocated.

In Chad basin, 40 out of 46 blocks are open; in the oil-rich Niger Delta, 34 out of 187 blocks are still idle, while Sokoto’s 28 blocks remain unallocated.

A former President of the International Association for Energy Economics, Prof Wumi Iledare, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, noted that exploration was critical in order to increase the nation’s oil and gas reserves.

“You cannot explore if the right to prospect is not granted, and you cannot grant unless there is a bidding process. And you cannot bid if the environment is not conducive,” he said.

 

Source: The Punch

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