Nigeria sells marginal oilfield licenses for $482m, ignores court
Nigeria has made over 200 billion naira, which is equivalent to $482 million from the issuance of oil prospecting licenses. It offered 57 oil fields for bidding according to the petroleum regulator. The NUPRC, The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commision, said that over two thirds of the awardees have fully paid for their licenses two years after bids were bought for the oil blocks.
NUPRC did not say how many licenses were issued. The licensing started after a court ruling in May 2022 that sought to stop Abuja from issuing licenses for marginal oil fields because of a pending suit by community leaders. The NUPRC was established last year and 30 oil fields were awarded between 1999 and 2010 with another 57 awarded in 2020. Nigeria hopes to increase production from the fields to improve state finances and increase local participation in the oil sector. Local companies have become more important to the industry, however, the international oil majors that focus on deep-water drilling still dominate.