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Nigeria Opens New Oil and Gas Licensing Round to Boost Production

Nigeria Opens New Oil and Gas Licensing Round to Boost Production

May 8, 2024

Nigeria Opens New Oil and Gas Licensing Round to Boost Production

Nigeria has initiated a new oil and gas licensing round this week, offering opportunities for exploration and production across 12 onshore and offshore blocks. The announcement was made at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

Gbenga Komolafe, the chief executive of NUPRC, during his address at the OTC, emphasized Nigeria's resolve to enhance its oil and gas industry. He conveyed the incentives introduced under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, designed to attract international investors to the sector. "Nigeria has adopted a pragmatic approach, ensuring competitive entry fees and commercial viability for investment," Komolafe stated, recognizing the evolving dynamics of the global energy market.

The commitment to transparency in the bidding process comes as a response to concerns that have led international energy companies to reduce their involvement in Nigeria's oil sector in past years. Issues such as oil theft, pipeline damages, and the subsequent force majeure declarations on oil exports have been deterrents for investment.

Komolafe expressed optimism about the 2024 Licensing Round, suggesting that it is "expected to be a huge success for Nigeria" and a significant stride towards growing the nation's oil and gas reserves. The efforts are geared towards aggressive exploration, production enhancement, and the expansion of opportunities for gas utilization.

As Africa's leading oil producer, Nigeria is actively seeking to augment its crude oil output in the foreseeable future. Recent measures to combat theft and targeted attacks on oil infrastructure have led to a noticeable recovery in oil production. February saw the highest production level in over three years, signaling a positive trend for the industry.

Earlier this year, the NUPRC reported a significant increase in the country's crude oil reserves, which have expanded by 1 billion barrels, and natural gas reserves have surged by 2.573 trillion cubic feet (TCF).

The success of Nigeria's latest licensing round could be pivotal in bolstering the nation's economy and securing its position as a major player in the global oil and gas market. The government's assurance of transparency and the promise of a conducive environment for international investors could potentially rekindle interest and lead to a resurgence in the sector.


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