Business Hilights
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Fear of uprising over winners in marginal field bid round delaying scheme

Key reason on why there is palpable uncertainty over the timeframe for the country’s next marginal field bid round, has been unveiled.

Findings by Business Hilights showed that the interested top government officials and officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) are yet to finalise any framework on time due to the trending high tension anchored on marginalization and lack of equitable spread of oil blocs over the years in the process.

Besides, the recent ultimatum by Niger Delta militants that the next bidding round must not evade the region is another factor being considered so as to avoid return of hostilities in the oil region.

Analysts and government officials are aware that any hiccup in production region will mean possible return to recession as the current fragile escape stemmed from rising oil price.

In a statement earlier this month, DPR said it is yet to receive any directive from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources regarding opening of bids to concession 30 marginal oil fields in the country.

According to DPR, arrangement has not been concluded yet to hold any bid round later this year or early in 2018.

However, this was a marked deviation from the position of the department even before President Muhammadu Buhari went on 104 days medical vacation in London.

DPR was quick to hint that “We would like to put it on record that whereas there might be plans to conduct oil bidding rounds in the near future for purposes of expanding opportunities in the oil and gas sector of the economy in line with the government’s aspirations to boost exploration activities and to bolster the national reserves, however these exercises would only be conducted when the DPR has been given the requisite authorisation by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, to submit operational guidelines and technical frameworks with which to midwife the process.”

The fear of discordant interpretations by different regions cannot be unconnected with the above statement.