marginal fields

Nigeria’s marginal oil field reserves have hit 302.62 million barrels from 141.01mmb in 2004, according to the Department of Petroleum Resources.

The Director, DPR, Mr. George Osahon, who gave the figure in Lagos on Tuesday at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ 37th Nigerian Annual International Conference and Exhibition, said crude oil production from the nation’s marginal fields had reached 60,000 barrels per day.

The DPR boss, who said this amounted to 2.1 per cent of the country’s daily oil production, put gas production from the marginal fields at 15 million standard cubic feet per day.

Osahon, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Upstream Division, DPR, Mr. Samuel Obiora, described as little the 2.1 per cent contribution of the marginal fields to the country’s total crude oil production.

He said the amended Petroleum Decree of 1996 made it possible for indigenous companies to own and manage onshore and shallow water leases originally held by the International Oil Companies.

Osahon explained that the decree was enacted to award fields, which remained un-appraised by the IOCs to indigenous companies.

The programme, he said, was aimed at promoting indigenous participation and building indigenous capacity in the upstream sector; increase production capacity through acceleration of development of discovered reserves; and increase the oil and gas reserves base through aggressive exploration, among others.

He, however, lamented that only nine of the 24 marginal fields awarded in 2003 and five discretionarily awarded later had started production.

According to him, the producing fields ree Umusadege (Midwestern Oil & Gas), Umusati (Pillar Oil), Ibigwe (Waltersmith), Egboma (Platform Petroleum), Obodugwa/Obodeti (Energia Petroleum/Oando), Ajapa (Britania-u), Ogbelle (Niger Delta), Ebok (Oriental Energy) and Uquo (Frontier).

Osahon said though the marginal field programme had not evolved as intended, the programme had made its mark on the industry landscape.

“The challenges have been adequately analysed and remedial legislation and actions are being proposed. Identified enablers will be applied in the next marginal field bid round,” the DPR boss said.

The Country Chair/Managing Director, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, bemoaned the increasing rates of vandalism and crude oil theft in the country.

He said the impact of the activities of crude oil thieves and illegal refineries on the environment in the Niger Delta and the Nigerian economy had become “a crisis situation.”


Information from Punch was used in this report.