Citing concerns expressed by both local and international investors over the closeness of the deep offshore mini bid round to the terminal date of the Buhari administration, the federal government over the weekend approved the amendment of the 2022/2023 deep offshore oil blocks mini bid round.
The Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Engr. Gbenga Komolafe in a statement at the weekend said the move was aimed at enhancing the credibility and transparency of the 2022/2023 Mini-bid Round process.
“Following the approval by President Buhari in his capacity as the Petroleum Resources Minister, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has revised the Deep Offshore Oil block Bid Round Schedule by extending the deadline for the submission of Technical/Commercial bids to May 19, 2023, as well as the timeline for concluding activities of contract negotiations and signing between July 3 and 28, 2023,” the statement read.
The Commission Chief Executive, indicated that the 2022/23 Deep Offshore Oil block Mini-bid Round is progressing in accordance with the Bid Round Schedule which has been published as part of the Bid Round Guidelines.
He said the 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,” he added.
Engr. Komolafe reiterated the Commission’s commitment to conducting the bid round in a manner that guarantees the achievement of the objectives of the exercise, pointing out that participation is both robust and beneficial to key stakeholders.
However, he said constant interrogation and oversight of the process revealed two concerns which the Commission felt might impact the success of the exercise if not immediately addressed.
He said:” The concerns are the plan to conclude the bid process before transition to the new Government and the need to guarantee participation of qualified indigenous companies, working collaboratively with multinationals and the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to leverage technology, funding and expertise in the deep offshore.