15 May 2017, Sweetcrude, Houston — The Nigerian government has directed oil companies to renew expired oil mining leases, OML, while also serving notice that 45 marginal oil fields would be offered in a competitive bid round before the end of May 2017.
Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources made the disclosure in Houston, Texas while speaking with some journalists on the sideline of the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference.
He disclosed that the government had written to holders of all expired OMLs to come forward and update their licences.
The OML issued by the Nigerian government to oil producers is one of the two types of licences government operatorship, and it has a validity period ranging between five and 20 years.
“We have already sent out letters on those for existing OMLs but in terms of issuing new blocks we are probably not contemplating that for the rest of this year. But marginal fields we will deal with by end of May we should have all the data that we need.”
“We have identified about 40 to 45 marginal fields, we hope to increase those, we will go forward to a bidding process.
Checks revealed that there are 109 OMLs operated either under the Joint Venture (JV), Sole Risk (SR) or Production Sharing Contract (PSC) basis by oil companies in the country.