President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the amendment of the 2022/2023 Deep Offshore oil block mini-bid process to accommodate concerns raised by potential local and international investors.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) stated in Abuja on Saturday that the amendments would address concerns over the terminal date of the current administration to the closure of the bid schedule.
Chief Executive of the NUPRC, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, said in the statement that the amendments would also boost confidence in the transparency and continuity of the process.
Komolafe said following the approval by the president, the NUPRC had extended the deadline for the submission of bids to May 19.
He said it had also revised the timeline for concluding activities of contract negotiations and signing to between July 3 and July 28.
The extension of time would afford interested international oil companies enough time to enter into and conclude necessary joint venture arrangements with indigenous companies.
It would also allow for proper evaluation of relevant data by all bidders, Komolafe said.
He added that the bid round was progressing following the Schedule which had been published as part of the guidelines.
“Outstanding activities for the conclusion of the exercise include the Technical/Commercial bid submission and the Ministerial Consent/Contract Negotiation and Signing.
“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.
“The Commission is fully committed to conducting the bid round in a manner that guarantees the achievement of the objectives of the exercise,’’ he assured.
Komolafe added that constant interrogation and oversight of the process showed two concerns that the Commission felt might impact the success of the exercise if not immediately addressed.
He listed the concerns as the plan to conclude the bid process before the transition to the incoming government and the need to guarantee the participation of qualified indigenous companies, working collaboratively with multinational oil companies.
The collaboration would leverage technology, funding and expertise in the deep offshore, he noted.
Komolafe said also that the NUPRC had announced the requirement for Joint Venture arrangements between international oil companies and indigenous companies and amended the guidelines accordingly.
He said the measure would address the issue of collaboration between indigenous and interactional oil companies and was also in consonance with, and supports the Nigerian Content requirements of the bid round.
Komolafe said it was also following the Nigerian Constitution which provided that the resources of the nation should be harnessed in a manner that promoted national prosperity and an efficient, dynamic and self-sustaining economy.