Apparently worried that local and foreign companies that won 76 of the 77 oil blocks put on offer during the licensing rounds conducted by the federal government in 2005, 2006 and 2007 are sourcing for data on those blocks in the open market, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has pledged to make those data available at commensurate fees to the operators.
A total of 44 oil blocks were awarded in the 2005 licensing rounds, while 16 and 17 acreages were awarded in 2006 and 2005, respectively, but only one out of the 77 blocks has been put into production.
Speaking recently in Lagos on: “Review of 2005-2007 Licensing Rounds and Government’s Perspectives,” the Director of DPR, Mr. George Osahon, noted the awardees had not been able to put the remaining 76 fields into production because they lacked adequate knowledge of the blocks they won during the bid rounds.
He said rather than approach the DPR to acquire the relevant data on the blocks, the awardees chose to go to the “streets” to buy data on the affected blocks.
“DPR will acquire data and you have the right to buy the data but what has been happening is that indigenous companies do not want to buy data from the DPR. These things are not cheap. To acquire data in say 1,000square kilometres in deepwater, if you are told to bring like $500,000 or $2million, you will say that you do not have the money. Then, you will go and buy data on the shelf and say that you bought data on the streets. Now, what we are going to do is that we will make the data available, you will buy the data. Going to the streets to buy data is not the way it works. If you go to Uganda today, every data is there and the prices are there if you want to buy. Seismic data 2-D is there; 3-D is there. There is no point going to the streets to buy. We are not against those working on the streets but as much as possible, we want you to have good and reliable data,” Osahon explained.
He stated the Exploration and Production (E & P) business could be the way to richness but very expensive, adding the way is not plated with gold and silver.
Osahon pledged the DPR would assist the operators to put their fields into production, stressing that if there is any conflict between the operators and the regulatory agency, the law courts were the best option to resolve the issues.
“We will assist you as much as possible but we will not spoon-feed you. It is not our responsibility to work your project economics; you should do those things by yourselves. The size of the block is there; there is size of Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) and there is size of Oil Mining Lease (OML). If there is any confusion, you should come to us. Certainly, there may be conflict in what you understand and what we understand but honestly, the law courts are there to settle the issues. But as much as possible, we will give you the information, the way we have them,” Osahon said.
Information from This Day was used in this report.