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FG tasks operators with more exploration, and production to boost energy transition


By Gladys Johnson, Houston Texas

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has said that investment in new finds through extensive oil and gas exploration and production is the only way Nigeria, and indeed Africa can catch up with energy transition to check climate change.

Mr. Lokpobiri, a senator of the Federal Republic, who spoke at the ongoing 2024 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, Texas, argued that: “If we do more substantial seismic tests, Nigeria will find more oil like other African countries.”

Accordingly, he insisted that “Nigeria needs to explore its oil and gas resources including renewables such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal.

The Minister noted that even as the world is undergoing an energy transition, the concept means different things to different stakeholders, which according to him is “all about sustaining the comfort already being enjoyed.”

Besides, he said, if Africa contributes only 3% of global emissions, why should it transit at the same time as the rest of the world.”

“We need time to develop the technology so we can catch up while solving the energy problems,” he added.

Oil blocks sale

Regarding the offer of 19 oil blocks put up for sale, in an upcoming bid round being planned by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) the Minister said the assets are strictly for serious-minded investors with the financial capacity and technical competence.

This, he said, is because previous block awards did not result in the corresponding developments expected, as over 90% of the marginal fields are still lying dormant, thus denying the federal government the intended benefits.

Mr. Lokpobiri continued: “We have noticed a lot of idle blocks and little or no investment done on them in the last three years of acquiring them. Currently, over 90% of owners of these oil blocks are seeking renewal without commencing or investing in them.

“In this regard, we are saying no more to that and hence those seeking blocks must be financially and technically capable of turning it around and not mere portfolio investors.

“These set of investors are those we consider as men and not boys in the industry. The Blocks are not for politicians. So, we are downplaying that kind of investor in this new bid round.

“However, we have taken away the 200 million signature bonus tied to block ownership. What we have tried to achieve is to tie such to operations and investment which will encourage investors and drive investment speedily on a field.

“I have worked closely with the NUPRC to ensure that we achieve a seamless transition and bid round sales this year.”

We need time to develop the technology so we can catch up while solving the energy problems.

Guidelines for assets award

Similarly, the Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, said the recent Presidential Executive Orders issued in March this year, were aimed at improving the efficiency and attractiveness of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

He added that the assets sale would result in reserves accretion, which currently stands at 37.5 billion barrels of crude oil and condensates and 209.26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Mr. Komolafe said: “The exercise, which was initially announced on the 29th of April 2024, is a significant leap in our strategic hydrocarbon development initiative.

“This round introduces twelve meticulously selected blocks across diverse geological spectra from the fertile onshore basins to the promising continental shelves and the untapped depths of our deep offshore territories.

“Each block has been chosen for its potential to bolster our national reserves and stimulate economic vitality.

“Our approach is underpinned by the robust legal framework of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021(PIA), which ensures compliance with best practices to boost investors’ confidence.

“In keeping with the provisions of the PIA and regulations made under the Act, the Commission has issued a licensing round guideline and published a licensing round plan for the twelve blocks (namely PPL 300-CS; PPL 301-CS; PPL 3008; PPL 3009; PPL 2001; PPL 2002; PML 51; PPL 267; PPL 268; PPL 269; PPL 270; and PPL 271).

“In addition to these blocks, the seven deep offshore blocks from the 2022 Mini-Bid Round Exercise which cover an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m shall also be concluded along with this Licensing round.

“To ensure the seamlessness of the Licensing Round exercise, the NUPRC, in collaboration with our National Data Repository and multi-client partners, guarantees access to comprehensive and high-quality geological data, facilitating informed decision-making and strategic investments.

“The blocks on offer have extensive 2D and 3D seismic data coverage, including multi-beam and analog data. Additionally, a 3D reprocessed Pre-stack Time Migration of remarkable quality is also available to prospective bidders.

“The availability of advanced seismic datasets and analytical tools via our dedicated portals exemplifies our commitment to excellence and technological advancement.

“The Licensing Round is indeed expected to be a huge success for Nigeria and is a big step towards growing the nation’s oil and gas reserves through aggressive exploration and development efforts, boosting production, expanding opportunities for gas utilization and end-to-end development across the value chain.

“Others are strengthening energy security and economy, providing an occasion to gainfully engage the pool of competent companies in the oil & gas sector with a multiplier effect in employment opportunities, enabling the transfer of technology, valorizing petroleum assets in the Nigerian Territory and attracting investments.

“In addition, the Licensing Round presents us with the opportunity to reinforce Nigeria’s commitment to openness and transparency in line with the principles of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).

“On the global scale, the Licensing Round will no doubt be beneficial to all stakeholders and will in the long run contribute to long-term global energy sufficiency. Interestingly, the Licensing Round process was formulated in cognizance of global energy sustainability goals.”

On her part, the Managing Director, of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Elohor Aboni, reconfirmed Shell’s intention to stay in Nigeria and help the government to develop its oil and gas resources.

She said the company focusing on the development of its deep offshore oil and gas assets.




About Gladys Johnson

Gladys Johnson The Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Global Business Drive Phone: +13465619347 Email: info@globalbusinessdrive.com gladysjohnsonmedia@gmail.com gladys@globalbusinessdrive.com globalbusinessdrive@gmail.com

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