DPR director, Osten Olorunsola, disclosed that the marginal fields were awarded to the operators in the 2003 bid round and that having left the fields undeveloped since then, the government would have no option that to withdraw the licences granted on the fields.
He said: “Marginal fields’ awards of 2003 will expire sometime next year. If the beneficiaries are not actively working on them, we will take them back. That is what the guideline says.”
The marginal fields were allocated to local companies in 2003 as part of efforts to build indigenous capacity in oil exploration and production.
These are fields considered to be commercially unviable by the oil majors because of their small production level, usually between 1,000 and 5,000 barrels per day and with reserves of not more than 10 million barrels.
Twenty four of the fields were awarded to local companies in the 2003 rounds, indigenous firms.
Ten years after, only seven out of the licensees have been able to produce from their fields.