By Sola olajide
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has concluded arrangements to issue award letters to successful investors in the 2020 marginal field bid round programme.
Head, Public Affairs, DPR, Mr Paul Osu, made the announcement in a statement on Saturday in Lagos. he noted that the letters would be issued at an award ceremony scheduled to hold on Monday, May 31, in Abuja.
A marginal field is any field that has reserves booked and reported annually to the DPR and has remained unproduced for a period of over 10 years.
Osu said the successful investors who will be receiving their award letters are companies that have fully satisfied all requirements listed in the marginal field bid round guidelines, including full payment of signature bonuses within the specified time frame.
The process, which culminated in the presentation of award letters, commenced in June 2020 with 57 marginal oil fields on offer for investors with the objective of deepening indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry as well as adding to the country’s production and reserve. Over 600 companies had applied to be pre-qualified for the bid rounds.
The marginal field bid round programme, the DPR stated, is also geared to provide technical and financial partnerships for investors.
“The Department of Petroleum Resources will continue to provide transparent regulatory oversight for the oil and gas industry to enable business and create opportunities for investors,” the statement noted.
Director of DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, recently stated that the country was expected to net $500million from the signature bonuses on the fields, the first marginal field round since 2002.
Auwalu said DPR had narrowed the list of bidders to 161 and would mark the first time Nigeria would allow companies to pay oilfield acquisition costs in naira.
Having received the expected revenue, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, penultimate week revealed that the regulatory agency “rescued” Nigeria from a financial crisis by remitting the funds to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in April.
Sylva explained that since the DPR collected royalties on behalf of the federal government, it was able to fill the vacuum left by the NNPC in contributing to the federation account.
The minister, who did not mention the exact amount the DPR provided, said revenues from marginal field programmes were of use, when the nation was in dire need of funds to share among the federating units.
“I can’t say what the figure is, but the DPR has always contributed to the federation revenue, because they collect royalties, so they’ll continue to contribute.
“But as to filling the gap, it’ll not always be there, because NNPC has not said after not being able to contribute in May, it’ll stop entirely. NNPC has not announced it again. So, we cannot say for how long DPR is going to keep paying,” he said.