Nigeria Awards Marginal Fields

Nigeria has allocated twenty-four of its marginal oilfields to local oil companies in an effort to encourage local participation in Nigeria's oil industry. "The aim of this exercise is to provide a springboard for the development of indigenous companies which can over time venture into less conventional terrain," Nigeria's top oil official Rilwanu Lukman said at the ceremony in Abuja. He said he expected "exploitation of the fields will gainfully engage the pool of high level technically competent Nigerians in the oil and gas sector."

Nigeria has identified 116 marginal fields with total reserves in excess of 214 million barrels but which are not considered commercial by the oil majors. A total of 142 companies sent in bids for the fields, located within the leasehold of joint ventures between state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp and its foreign partners. The successful bidders were among those pre-selected last June. "Based on the criteria set out 31 companies are successful in the 24 fields," Lukman said. "Of these number 17 companies are sole operators while 14 are to engage in joint operation of seven fields." The fields in general have daily production profiles of between 3,000 to 5,000 barrels per day.