The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has announced the Nigerian government’s decision to revoke 97 marginal field awards due to the awardees’ failure to initiate crude oil production activities on the allocated fields. Speaking at an event in Abuja, Lokpobiri emphasized the need to re-award the fields to capable investors capable of kickstarting production.
Lokpobiri expressed frustration with the lack of progress, stating, “If you are given a marginal field, it is not for you to take it as a souvenir and keep it in your study. It doesn’t add any value to you or to our country.” He noted that only three out of nearly 100 marginal field awards were currently in production, and those unable to utilize the assets would face cancellation.
The minister highlighted the missed opportunity, noting that had the marginal fields been in production, they could have supplied sufficient feedstock for modular refineries and contributed to an increase in the country’s total production quota.
The move to revoke the marginal field awards comes after the Federal Government, through the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources, issued letters of award to successful investors in the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round. The bid round, launched in June 2020, attracted indigenous companies and investors interested in the exploration and production business in Nigeria.
Among the companies awarded were A.A. Rano Nigeria Limited, Dutchess Energy, Emadeb Energy Services Limited, Matrix Energy Limited, Shafa Exploration and Production Company Limited, Casiva Limited, Duport Midstream Company Limited, and Vhelbherg Exploration and Production Development Company Limited. As of January 2022, a total of 128 awardees had emerged as successful bidders, having made complete and partial payments for signature bonuses in the oil fields.