Theme: Growing Upstream Investment in Nigeria through Licensing Round: The Bid Process and Opportunities
1. It is indeed my pleasure and honour to warmly welcome you all to the Pre-Bid Conference following the announcement of the 2022/2023 Mini Bid Round exercise on the 22nd of December 2022. The theme of today’s event is “Growing Upstream Investment in Nigeria through Licensing Round: The Bid Process and Opportunities”. The importance of this event cannot be over-emphasized. Truly, its significance is evident by the large and diverse attendance of stakeholders and invitees from different walks of life.
2. Ladies and Gentlemen, before proceeding further, permit me to swiftly pay glowing tribute to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, thereby laying a solid foundation for total transformation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Besides, the timely approval of the mini bid exercise by Mr. President, as the Honouable Minister of Petroleum Resources, is a strong commitment to increase the national oil and gas reserves and production for enhanced Federation revenue. It is also highly remarkable that the approval of the exercise by Mr. President is the first in the last 15 years, thereby adding to the plethora of achievements of this administration. Let me similarly acknowledge the overwhelming support and guidance of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, enjoyed by the Commission which has made today’s event possible.
3. In compliance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and regulations made pursuant to the Act, the Commission has issued a licensing round guideline and published a licensing round plan for a total of seven (7) deep offshore open blocks (PPL-300-DO, PPL-301-DO, PPL-302-DO, PPL-303-DO, PPL-304-DO, PPL-305-DO & PPL-306-DO). These seven (7) Deep Offshore blocks, covering an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m, are on offer in this Mini Bid Round. These are intended to be the first in a series of bid rounds aimed at further development of our prospective petroleum basins. The bid rounds are within the context of our enhanced legal and regulatory frameworks, as enshrined in Section 73 of the PIA, which seeks to encourage new investors and investments into the next phase of oil and gas exploration in Nigeria.
4. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me clearly indicate that this pre-bid conference is a clarion call to technically and financially capable local and foreign investors to invest and take advantage of the generous fiscal and regulatory regime in the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector.
5. The Mini Bid Round is a market-driven programme expected to outperform the last bid round which held in April 2007 during which a total of forty-five (45) blocks were put on offer under a different regulatory regime (the Petroleum Act, 1969). In line with the provisions of the PIA, the Mini Bid Round will be managed by the NUPRC, supported by its National Data Repository (NDR) and multi-client partners underpinned by high-quality datasets. The blocks on offer have extensive 2D and 3D seismic data coverage, including multi-beam and analog data. Additionally, a 3D MegaSurveyPlus reprocessed Pre-stack Time Migration of remarkable quality is also available to prospective bidders. Links to all data and information including the guidelines for the award and operations of Petroleum Prospecting Licenses (PPL) in deep offshore Nigeria, alongside other vital information that provide details regarding the blocks on offer and the procedural stages of the bid process, can be accessed via the dedicated NUPRC portal (https://br.nuprc.gov.ng).
6. The exercise is scheduled to last for approximately four (4) months along the following processes:
Registration & Pre-Qualification
Technical Bid Submission/Presentation
Technical Bid Evaluation
Commercial Bid Conference
As part of the bid process, we have announced the commencement and launched the bid round portal which was officially opened on 3rd January 2023. We have also provided an official email address, phone numbers and dedicated support line to guide applicants through the Licensing Round process.
7. Distinguished Stakeholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, please be rest assured that the entire bid process pursuant to the provisions of the PIA 2021 and attendant regulations will be fair, transparent, and competitive in line with best practices. Furthermore, the mini bid exercise has been designed to attract competent investors from across the world, both local and foreign, that have the capability and competence in operating in deep water environment. However, all awardees must be duly registered in Nigeria under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). Applicants may participate either as an individual company, or as a consortium.
8. Distinguished Stakeholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Mini Bid 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 utilisation and development, strengthening energy security and economy, providing the opportunity to gainfully engage the pool of competent companies in the oil and gas sector resulting in employment opportunities, enabling transfer of technology, valorizing petroleum assets in the Nigerian Territory and attracting investments. In addition, the Mini Bid 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).
9. On the global scale, the Licensing Round will no doubt be gainful 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 sustainability goals. The process will, in addition to technical and commercial considerations, pay the requisite attention to strategies, processes and implementable plans consistent with net zero carbon emission targets, eliminating gas flares as well as overall Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations. The oil and gas industry in Nigeria has embraced the reality of energy transition and is taking strategic position to leverage on the opportunities presented by the unfolding era. As a Regulatory Commission we have taken deliberate steps in this regard including the recent issuance of Guidelines for Management of Fugitive Methane and Greenhouse Gases Emissions in the Upstream Oil and Gas Operations in Nigeria during the COP27 in Egypt in a manner that attracted wide international commendation for Nigeria. However, it is worthy to recognize that recent events around the globe indicate that fossil fuels will continue to be a core part of the global energy mix well into the future, even beyond the 2050 targets for achieving net-zero carbon emissions that has been set by most countries. The recent increase in the price of energy, mostly occasioned by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the ensuing energy disruption, have reawakened the call for geopolitical energy security and sustainability.
10. I want to conclude this keynote address by re-inviting investors from across the world with capability and experience in deep water operations to embrace the generous fiscal provisions of the PIA and join us in this journey of energy sustainability aimed at developing our oil and gas resources as cleanly as possible. It will interest you to note that the Commission has established a committee to engage and collaborate with world renowned energy consultants, Wood Mackenzie, to ensure that Nigerian petroleum upstream regulations are in line with international best practice. This will form the basis for regulating the awardees of the seven (7) deep offshore blocks offered in the 2022/2023 mini bid round exercise.
11. Once more, I must thank all participants for finding the time to attend this Pre-Bid Conference. The joint team from the Commission and the multi-client data companies will, in subsequent sessions in this pre-bid conference today, provide robust clarification on all your enquiries regarding the bid round exercise.
Thank you all.