By Adedapo Adesanya
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, has revealed that 56 marginal fields will be available for auction before the end of the year.
It had been reported earlier that due to current global realities which impede foreign investments, Nigeria would be auctioning marginal fields.
In the latest rounds of details released, bidders will have 56 fields located on land, swamp and shallow water terrains to choose from.
The Minister, at a recent media briefing, however, was quick to explain that the bid for bigger acreages which would be on offer, concessions in the shallow offshore and deep offshore assets would be dependent on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) due to the need to stabilise the fiscal framework.
The PIB is a bill that has been delayed from passing for almost 12 years since its introduction. It seeks to clarify the ownership and management of petroleum resources, functions and powers of the Minister of Petroleum.
It also looks into the establishment of the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) which was to act as a regulator for the entire petroleum industry (upstream, midstream and downstream) and the restructuring of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The last marginal field bid round was conducted in 2002 and 24 fields were given to 32 companies in 2003, while licensing round was conducted last in 2007.
Nigeria has been planning for a marginal field round of bidding for more than 10 years
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