By Adedapo Adesanya The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says 161 companies have been shortlisted to advance to the next and final stage of the bid round process for 57 marginal oilfields in the country. This was disclosed by Mr Paul Osu, Head of Public Affairs, DPR in Lagos. He explained that the firms were selected from the over 600 companies which applied for pre-qualification. A marginal field is any field that has reserves booked and reported annually to the DPR and has remained unproduced for a period of over 10 years. \u201dThe 2020 marginal oilfield bid round process is still ongoing in line with our published timelines on DPR website and bid portal. \u201cThe current status is that 161 successful companies have been shortlisted to advance to the next and final stage of the process,\u201d Mr Osu said. He said the bid rounds began on June 1, adding that the agency had put measures in place to ensure that the awardees would be credible investors with technical and financial capability. According to him, the objective of the 2020 marginal field bid round is to deepen the participation of indigenous companies in the upstream segment of the industry and provide opportunities for technical and financial partnerships for investors. Nigeria last conducted marginal field bid rounds in 2003, with 16 of the fields now contributing two per cent to the national oil and gas reserves, while bringing development to their host communities in the Niger Delta.