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FG Crashes Signature Bonus For 2022/2023 Mini Bid Round To $10m To Attract Fresh Investments Into Upstream Sector

The Federal Government has crashed the signature bonus for 2022/23 Mini Bid Round to $10m in a bid to atrract more investments into the upstream oil and gas sector.

The crashing of the signature bonus was announced by the Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Engr Gbenga Komolafe, in a statement made available to THE WHISTLER on Tuesday

Recall that former President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2022 approved that some deep offshore blocks be put on offer for the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round and other blocks which cut across onshore, continental shelf and deep offshore terrains were also put on offer for the Nigeria 2024 Licencing Round.

During the bid round which was held last year, seven Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) were up for grabs.The listed seven deep offshore open blocks include PPL-300-DO, PPL-301-DO, PPL-302-DO, PPL-303-DO, PPL-304-DO, PPL-305-DO, and PPL-306-

But in a move that is geared towards boosting confidence in the transparency and continuity of the 2022/2023 Deep Offshore Oil Block Mini-bid Round process and in order to vacate entry barriers, Komolafe said that the Commission sought and obtained the approval of President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is the Petroleum Minister.

The approval given by the president is in line with his avowed determination to create enabling and attractive investment regimes in the upstream oil and gas sector, approved attractive fiscal regimes and also minimised entry fees for both licencing rounds by putting a cap on the signature bonus payable for award of the acreages.

Flowing from the approval by the President, the NUPRC Boss said it was necessary that the same bid criteria, in addition to the uniform signature bonus criteria are applicable for both licencing rounds, to promote transparency and provide a level playing ground for all bidders.

According to him, since the criteria for the award of the oil blocks are now much more attractive than they initially were during the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round, it is in the interest of equity and fair play to give all investors the same opportunity to bid for the assets.

Consequently, Komolafe explained that all blocks in the 2022/23 and 2024 Licencing Rounds are available to all interested investors on br.nuprc.gov.ng and br2024.nuprc.gov.ng respectively, and the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round registration phase is reopened to new applicants.

He urged the public to take advantage of this development and attractive entry terms and conditions and participate in the exercise.

However, he noted that all the prequalified Applicants published on the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round portal will not be required to go through a new pre-qualification process, as their technical submissions remain valid and eligible even for the 2024 Licencing Round.

The NUPRC stated further that they may, however, wish to resubmit new Commercial Bids to take advantage of the more attractive criteria applicable to both licencing rounds and revise their Bid Bonds to adapt to the new bid criteria.

He also explained that the Commission has extended the deadline for the
registration/submission of pre-qualification documents for the 2024 Licencing Round Schedule by 10 days.

The extension, according to the Commission is to allow interested investors to take advantage of the expanded opportunities in the upstream oil and gas sector.

The NUPRC Boss said in the statement that the extension of the deadline for the
registration/submission of pre-qualification documents for the 2024 Licencing Round, which was initially scheduled to close on 25 June 2024, has been extended by 10 days and will now close on 5 July 2024.

He also said that the Data Access/ Data Purchase/Evaluation/Bid Preparation and Submission which was initially scheduled to open on 4 July 2024 and close on 29/11/24 will now start on 8 July 2024 and close on 29/11/24 as previously scheduled.

The statement reads, “The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) wishes to provide update and clarity on the 2022/2023 and 2024 Licencing Rounds.

“It may be recalled that some deep offshore blocks were put on offer for the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round and other blocks which cut across onshore, continental shelf and deep offshore terrains were also put on offer for the Nigeria 2024 Licencing Round.

“In order to vacate entry barriers, the Commission had sought and obtained the approval of His Excellency, Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, who, as Petroleum Minister, in line with his avowed determination to create enabling and attractive investment regimes in the upstream oil and gas sector, approved attractive fiscal regimes and also minimised entry fees for both licencing rounds by putting a cap on the signature bonus payable for award of the acreages.

“Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that the same bid criteria (in addition to the uniform signature bonus criteria) are applicable for both licencing rounds, to promote transparency and provide a level playing ground for all bidders.

“Since the criteria for the award of the oil blocks are now much more attractive than they initially were during the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round, it is in the interest of equity and fair play to give all investors the same opportunity to bid for the assets.

“Consequently, all blocks in the 2022/23 and 2024 Licencing Rounds are available to all interested investors on br.nuprc.gov.ng and br2024.nuprc.gov.ng respectively, and the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round registration phase is reopened to new applicants.

“The public is therefore invited to take advantage of this development and attractive entry terms and conditions and participate in the exercise.

“However, all the prequalified Applicants published on the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round portal will not be required to go through a new pre-qualification process, as their technical submissions remain valid and eligible even for the 2024 Licencing Round.

“They may however wish to resubmit new Commercial Bids to take advantage of the more attractive criteria applicable to both licencing rounds and revise their Bid Bonds to adapt to the new bid criteria. They are also free to bid for blocks on offer in the 2024 Licencing Round.

“To allow interested investors to take advantage of the expanded opportunities, the 2024 Licencing Round Schedule has been amended as follows:
Registration/Submission of Pre-Qualification Documents which was initially scheduled to close on 25 June 2024 has been extended by 10 days and will now close on 5 July 2024.

“Data Access/ Data Purchase/Evaluation/Bid Preparation and Submission which was initially scheduled to open on 4 July 2024 and close on 29/11/24 will now start on 8 July 2024 and close on 29/11/24 as previously scheduled.
All other dates in the published 2024 Licencing Round Schedule remain the same unless otherwise communicated.

“Furthermore, in pursuit of the Commission’s commitment to derive value from the country’s abundant oil and gas reserves and increase production, the Commission has been working assiduously with multiclient companies to undertake more exploratory activities to acquire more data to foster and encourage further investment in the Nigerian upstream sector.

“As a result of additional data acquired in respect of deep offshore blocks, the Commission has added seventeen (17) deep offshore blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round. Further details on the blocks can be found on the bid portal.

“Lastly, in accordance with the published guidelines, we had earlier indicated that some of the assets on offer should be applied for as clusters, namely: PPL 300-CS & PPL 301-CS, PPL 2000 and PPL 2001.

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