The federal government has issued Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPL) for 87 marginal oil fields in 23 years, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva, has said.
He stated this on Tuesday at the award of licences for 57 fresh oil fields in Abuja.
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The minister said the first time was in 1999 when the government issued two licences.
Sylva said, “Prior to this award, 13 fields had been awarded on land, eight fields in swamp and nine fields offshore leading to a cumulative of 30 marginal fields so far awarded in Nigeria.
“It is worthy of note to state here that this present award process saw 57 fields offered and over 70 per cent of them have their signature bonuses fully paid.
“This indeed is a testament to the increasing interest in our petroleum operations,” Sylva revealed.
He noted that the issuance of the PPL was part of the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, adding, “This is a moment that calls for celebration of the achievements of this government in the oil and gas sector of the economy.”
He also commended the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) for ensuring the successful completion of the process, which began in 2020.
The minister also said the issuance of the PPL to the operators was novel, stating, “This is a complete departure from what used to be, where the marginal field owners had no licences.”
To the awardees, he charged them with best practices. “As you develop your assets with the special purpose vehicles (SPVs), ensure that good oilfield practice is employed, environmental considerations and community stakeholders’ management are not neglected.”