Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. George Osahon, has said the agency will accommodate a hybrid of oil and gas industry experts including the Joint Venture (JV) partners of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the committee that will evaluate bids for 31 marginal oil fields that will be up for sale.
Osahon explained the bids from prospective bidders would be collectively assessed by the hybrid committee at both the technical and commercial stages of the process to ensure that serious and capable investors emerge as preferred bidders for the oil fields.
He spoke last week after the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, announced government’s decision to sell operational licences for 31 of its marginal onshore and offshore oil fields.
Osahon said: “The fields in question are located within blocks owned by the joint venture partners of NNPC, all the JVs will be in the committee that will be set up to ensure that everything goes smoothly.”
He however assured that the DPR alone would not be involved in the assessment of the companies, both at the technical and commercial levels.
The last time Nigeria held a licensing bid for its marginal oil fields was in 2001 under former president Olusegun Obasanjo. But Alison-Madueke stated that the second bidding rounds, which comes about 12 years after the first would be transparent.
She explained that the 31 fields that would be up for grab include 16 onshore and 15 in the continental shelf and that government would ensure a transparent licensing process. According to Osahon, the DPR will initiate a road-show across Nigerian cities to create proper awareness of the process.
“Over the next two weeks, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) will undertake a road show to different parts of the country about the programme. This will be followed by a three and half months 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.
“In carrying out the exercise, government is determined to ensure that proper technical and financial due diligence is done on companies indicating interest in these assets. In this regards, government encourages companies where possible to bid in consortia to enable the parties leverage upon each other’s strengths,” Alison-Madueke said.