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On Tuesday, May 14, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) announced the start of the 2024 oil block licensing round.

The Chief Executive of NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, announced this at the Miami, Florida, International Roadshow for the 2024 licensing round, hosted by the NUPRC, in collaboration with the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN).

The commission said the 2024 block licensing round would last for approximately nine months.

Mr. Komolafe, while unveiling the bidding round, said the exercise, which was initially announced on April 29, was a significant leap in the strategic hydrocarbons development initiative.

He said the round would introduce 12 meticulously selected blocks across diverse geological spectra, from the fertile onshore basins to the promising continental shelves and the untapped depths of Nigeria’s deep offshore territories.

“Each block has been chosen for its potential to bolster our national reserves and stimulate economic vitality.

“The NUPRC, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is committed to conducting the licensing round in a fair, competitive, and transparent manner, ensuring a level playing field for both indigenous and international investors.

“Our approach is underpinned by the robust legal framework of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA), which ensures compliance with best practices to boost investorsconfidence.

“In keeping with the provisions of the PIA and regulations made under the Act, the commission has issued a licensing round guideline and published a licensing round plan for the twelve blocks.

“The blocks are PPL 300-CS, PPL 301-CS, PPL 3008, PPL 3009, PPL 2001, PPL 2002, PML 51, PPL 267, PPL 268, PPL 269, PPL 270, and PPL 271,” he said.

He said the seven deep offshore blocks from the 2022 mini-bid round exercise, which covered an area of approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100 m, would be concluded along with this licensing round.

He said the blocks on offer had extensive 2D and 3D seismic data coverage, including multi-beam and analog data.

“Additionally, a 3D reprocessed pre-stack time migration of remarkable quality is also available to prospective bidders.

“The availability of advanced seismic datasets and analytical tools via our dedicated portals exemplifies our commitment to excellence and technological advancement,” he said.

According to Mr. Komolafe, the licensing round is indeed expected to be a huge success for Nigeria and is a big step towards growing the nation’s oil and gas reserves.

This, he said, would be through aggressive exploration and development efforts, boosting production, expanding opportunities for gas utilization, and end-to-end development across the value chain.

“In addition, the licensing round presents us with the opportunity to reinforce Nigeria’s commitment to openness and transparency in line with the principles of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI),” he said.

On a global scale, Mr. Komolafe said the licensing round would no doubt be beneficial to all stakeholders, adding that in the long run it would contribute to long-term global energy sufficiency.

He said competitive entry fees that were responsive to prevailing realities would be adopted in the 2024 block licensing round.

Mr. Komolafe said that considerations for the commerciality of projects would be made on a case-by-case basis for the determination of appropriate entry fees.

The NUPRC portal provides details for interested parties on how to participate in the 2024 block licensing round, which is scheduled to last around nine months.