By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says that 50 per cent of short listed companies for marginal field oil operations have been awarded letters in different oil locations in the country.
The award letters were presented to the operators in Abuja on Monday by Mr Auwalu Sarki, DPR, Director/Chief Operating Officer.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a marginal field is an oil field that has been discovered and left unattended for a period of not less than 10 years from the date of first discovery.
Sarki explained that the 57 marginal fields to be explored by the operators are located on land, swamp and offshore terrains in various parts of the country.
He said that the companies presented with their certificates were those that have met all the conditions for the award out of the 161 that were shortlisted.
“A total of 591Expression of Interest applications were submitted; out of these applications, 540 were successfully prequalified during phase 1 of the exercise.
“At the end of phase 2, 482 bids were submitted by 405 applicants. Following the evaluation of the bids, 161 companies were shortlisted as potential awardees out of which 50 per cent have met all conditions and therefore eligible for award today.
“We are set to ensure opportunities are extended to other deserving applications to fill the gap,” Sarki said.
According to the DPR boss, the award marks the end of the bid round process which started on June 1, 2020, but the beginning of the post award phase which is very important.
He said the DPR had developed a strategy to ensure the awarded marginal field operators achieve early development and would continue to follow up and guide the awardees in every step they make.
Sarki noted that a National Oil and Gas Business Opportunity Desk has been established in the DPR.
“This desk synthesises opportunity across the value chain of the industry and creates a platform for investors, financiers, funders, and other intending partners to realise desired objectives,” Sarki said.
He implored the awardees to take advantage of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre for the industry recently commissioned by Mr President which offers services in improved oil recovery, alternative dispute resolution, integrated data analysis and competence development.
Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, the Executive Chairman, Vhelbherg Exploration and Production Development Company Ltd., one of the companies that secured the licence, commended the DPR for its transparency.
“This is the first most transparent exercise carried out by the DPR since 2003; it was open to everybody and there were publications.
“The job is not completed, and for the DPR to complete their work, it has to assist operators to produce in their various locations and ensure we are not suffocated,” Okoroafor said.
He said the move by the DPR to award letters to the operators of marginal fields was in the right direction as it would help boost the country’s oil reserve.
Mrs Timbu Ayinde, the Chief Operating Officer, Dutchess Energy Ltd., another awardee, said they were looking forward to a successful business.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for me in the sector as I have been in the downstream and this is an opportunity for me to go into the upstream.
“We are going to increase crude oil production for Nigeria and for the companies themselves, it is an expansion into the upstream sector; we are going to harness and employ people,” Ayinde said. (NAN)