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FG considers new oilfield licensing rounds in 2021



Chinazor Megbolu    |The Federal Government has said its considering resuming new oilfield licensing rounds in 2021.

The Federal Government added that  bid round may likely be in the deep and ultra-deep waters of the Niger Delta.
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, said this during an online interview, by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) International, saying the plan was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He noted that with the current price rebound, kick-starting some licensing bid round is possible next year.
Kyari also pointed out that the ambition of the agency is  to ramp up production to about 3 million barrel per day soon, when the current cuts imposed by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are lifted.
He maintained that some assets had already been lined up to boost oil production, adding that in 2020, Nigeria unveiled its first marginal oilfield licensing round in about 20 years.
He buttressed that the fields were likely to be developed by indigenous firms and were less dependent on limited international funding for their operations.
Kyari, however, stated that when taken the cleaning up of the activities of the NNPC that had been taking place since he took over into consideration, the company is likely to hit its break-even point by end of December, 2020.
He posited that in the agency’s pursuit of increasing crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels, the corporation is looking beyond the Niger Delta to the frontier basins, where oil were discovered in commercial quantities.
“This company will break even, hopefully by the end of this year, and become a net deliverer of value to our country and beyond that we are improving our systems and processes, reshaping our portfolios and shifting our priorities to things that work and things of value.
“For us, the ambition is to take the company to the next level and to do that, we need to go international and to do that, you must be competitive and ahead of your game so that this company will be the pride of this country.
” We need to deliver excellence, transparency and accountability,” he said.
Kyari noted that exploration processes going on in the Niger Delta presently isn’t much as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which slowed down operations.
“There isn’t much of exploration going in the Niger Delta because of many reasons, including the immediate impact of COVID-19.
We are looking to restore that.
“Our ambition is to grow to 40 billion barrels of proven reserves and increase gas assets. To do this, you have to go to the frontier areas and there are a number of them.
“Currently, we have found one in Benue trough with substantial quantity.
“This has also led us to understand the area and see the vast potential elsewhere in the frontier basin. And we are doing some exploration work and seismic data work in those areas.
“There are still potentials in the ultra-deep Niger Delta, which has very little exploration.
“I know that by 2021, we will go into some form of licensing activities so that we can reopen the ultra-deep and some parts of the deepwater and also look at the opportunities on some of the onshore assets that have not been explored.”
“So, there are huge opportunities in 2021 to 2022 with all its shortcomings, which are very obvious.
“We have seen a rebound in commodity prices and also some form of relaxation on the OPEC platform so that people will have the confidence to go back to more exploration,” Kyari said.

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