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By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief) @CelestineOkaf11

As part of measures to bring interested companies up to speed with the requirements of the 2022 Nigeria Mini Bid round process, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is hosting a stakeholder conference in Lagos on Monday, January 16, 2023.

According to a statement signed by the Commission Chief Executive (CCE), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, the conference will provide potential applicants with the opportunity to ask questions on issues concerning the Mini Bid Round process as well as requirements, after which interested companies will be invited to submit their pre-qualification applications by January 31, 2023.

Engr. Komolafe indicated that NUPRC will continue to provide further details and roadmap for the exercise which is an international competitive Mini Bid Round. He explained that the Mini Bid Round is an opportunity to spur new exploration and drilling activities in the prospective deep waters offshore Nigeria.

The CCE stated: “The Mini Bid Round is aimed at further development of the deep offshore acreages which will be held in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021 with its enhanced legal and regulatory frameworks that seeks to encourage new investors and investments into the next phase of exploration in this region. An initial announcement for commencement of the mini bid round was made in December, 20, 2022.

“The Mini Bid Round will be managed by the NUPRC, in line with the provisions of the PIA, as the statutory body responsible for ensuring compliance with petroleum laws, regulations, and guidelines in the Nigerian upstream petroleum industry.

“The National Data Repository (NDR) of NUPRC and our multi-client partners are delighted and ready to support the Mini Bid Round underpinned by highquality datasets. The blocks have extensive 2D and 3D seismic data coverage, including multi-beam and analogue data. Additionally, a remarkable quality 3D MegaSurveyPlus reprocessed Pre-stack Time Migration (completed October 2022) with angle stacks and gathers, is also available to prospective bidders. Links to all data can be accessed via the dedicated NUPRC portal.

“The Mini Bid Round is a market-driven programme and will follow a transparent and competitive procurement process designed to attract competent third-party investors from across the world that have the capability and proficiency in operating in deepwater environment.

“Historically, this Mini Bid Round intends to build on the successes of the last bid round that held in April 2007 during which a total of forty-five (45) blocks, drawn from the inland Basins of Anambra, Benue and Chad; the Niger Delta Continental Shelf; Onshore Niger Delta and Deep Offshore were put on offer.

“The 2007 bid round was held under a different regulatory regime (the Petroleum Act, 1969) and generated massive interest and participation with its attended revenue which made the exercise a success.

“In this 2022 Mini Bid Round, seven (7) Offshore blocks covering an area of approximately 6,700 sq km in water depths of 1,150m to 3,100m were put on offer.

“The success of the Mini Bid Round will ensure all stakeholders gain value from the country's resources, whilst paying close attention to reduction in carbon emissions, as well as overall environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations.

“A dedicated programme portal (br.nuprc.gov.ng) for the Mini Bid Round has been published by NUPRC which provides details of the bid round process, including the registration and prequalification requirements, and detailed guidelines for applicants. A pre-bid conference is scheduled for 16th January2023 at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos to provide potential applicants with an opportunity to ask questions they may have concerning the Mini Bid Round process.” NNL.

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