With wheels in motion to curb oil theft, Nigeria plans to launch bid round for 12 offshore blocks
Increasing oil theft activities are one of the key challenges plaguing Nigeria’s oil and gas industry landscape. In light of this, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has taken steps to tackle the issue by joining forces with the country’s police force. NUPRC is also working on expanding hydrocarbon exploration in Nigeria. To this end, a new bid round for 12 offshore blocks is on the cards for 2024.
While seeking closer collaboration with the Nigerian Police, the Commission Chief Executive (CCE) of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Engr Gbenga Komolafe, recently visited the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force, Kayode Egbetokun, in his office at the Force Headquarters Abuja, to highlight the need for a united front against oil theft challenges.
During the visit, the NUPRC boss pointed out the detrimental effects of what he described as “illicit activities,” which were impacting Nigeria’s economy. With this at the forefront, he emphasized the importance of curbing oil theft to safeguard the country’s commonwealth by apprehending and prosecuting perpetrators.
In response, Egbetokun acknowledged the negative impact of oil theft on both the financial landscape and Nigeria’s reputation, agreeing with Komolafe on the need for urgent action to deal with the situation for the sake of the growth and stability of the country’s economy.
Shortly after this, the NUPRC boss revealed plans to conduct a new bid round, consisting of 12 offshore blocks, during an engagement with the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) and the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) in Lagos.
Komolafe outlined: “The Commission will conclude the 2022/2023 mini bid round as well as conduct a new bid round of 12 blocks located in the continental shelf and deep offshore. We hereby call on all investors to participate in the bid round process that will commence soon for shared prosperity.”
Nigeria’s efforts to bring new investments into the oil and gas sector and boost production by tapping into the country’s deepwater hydrocarbon potential are hammered home not only by a mini-bid round for seven offshore blocks in 2022 but also by the production sharing contracts (PSCs) for six offshore licenses, which were inked with oil majors.
These renegotiated PSCs were revealed less than a month after President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), a development that saw the firm officially transiting into a limited liability entity as enshrined in the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Furthermore, Nigeria will receive support in its endeavor to mitigate methane emissions originating from the oil and gas sector, through a collaboration between the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which aims to devise effective methane mitigation strategies.
According to NUPRC, this represents “a significant step towards addressing environmental challenges associated with the energy industry,” as the partnership is tailored to bolster the African country’s initiatives in curbing its impact on climate change.
“As nations worldwide intensify efforts to adopt sustainable practices, partnerships like these demonstrate collective commitment to mitigating the environmental footprint of industrial activities,” underscored Nigeria’s oil and gas regulator.