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Deep Offshore Oil Block Mini-Bid Round Pushed to July 28
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the modification of the bid round calendar in an effort to allay investor concerns about the schedule’s proximity to the end of the current administration in the country. This is done in an effort to increase investor confidence in the transparency and continuity of the 2022/2023 Deep Offshore Oil block Mini-bid Round process.
This information was disclosed in a statement that the Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, provided to EnergyPlanets on Saturday.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) altered the Deep Offshore Oil Block Bid Round Schedule by extending the deadline for the filing of Technical/Commercial bids to May 19, 2023, following the president’s consent as the Minister of Petroleum Resources. Also, the dates of July 3 and July 28, 2023, are now the deadlines for wrapping up contract negotiations and signing.
“The extension of time is also to afford interested multinationals and IOCs enough time to enter into, and conclude the necessary joint venture arrangements as well as allow for proper evaluation of relevant data by all bidders,” he said.
Komolafe said that the 2022/23 Deep Offshore Oil block Mini-bid Round is progressing in accordance with the Bid Round Schedule which has been published as part of the Bid Round Guidelines.
“The outstanding activities for the conclusion of the exercise include the Technical/Commercial Bid Submission and the Ministerial Consent/Contract Negotiation and Signing,” he said.
“The Technical/Commercial bid submission involves Data access, purchase, evaluation, bid preparation, and submission; Bid evaluation and publication of results as well as Commercial bid conference and announcement of winners.”
According to Komolafe, the Commission’s commitment to conducting the bid round in a way that ensures the attainment of the exercise’s objectives, emphasising that participation is both vigorous and advantageous to important stakeholders.
“However, constant interrogation and oversight of the process revealed two concerns which the Commission felt might impact the success of the exercise if not immediately addressed; the concerns are the plan to conclude the bid process before the transition to the new Government and the need to guarantee the participation of qualified indigenous companies, working collaboratively with multinationals and the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to leverage technology, funding, and expertise in the deep offshore,” he added.
The Commission has already announced the requirement for joint venture (JV) arrangements between IOCs and indigenous companies and has amended the Guidelines accordingly, which not only addresses the second concern but is also consistent with and supports the Bid Round’s Nigerian Content requirements.
“It is also in accordance with Section 16(1)(a) of the Nigerian Constitution which provides that resources of the nation shall be harnessed in a manner that promotes national prosperity and efficient, dynamic and self-sustaining economy,” he said.