The Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA) empowers the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to conduct bid rounds for the award of petroleum prospecting licences. In 2022, the NUPRC initiated the 2022 Mini-Bid Round for seven deep offshore blocks namely PPL 300-DO, PPL 301-DO, PPL 302-DO, PPL 303-DO, PPL 304-DO, PPL 305-DO, PPL 306-DO. However, the process was postponed due to the 2023 national elections.

3 May 24

Announcement of 2024 Bid Round
The NUPRC through its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe recently announced that the NUPRC will initiate a bid round for 12 new greenfield oil blocks in addition to the deep offshore blocks from the 2022 Mini-Bid Round. The commencement of the 2024 Licensing Round was announced on 7 May 2024 at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, USA. The 12 new oil blocks on offer are PPL 300-CS, PPL 301-CS, PPL 3008, PPL 3009, PPL 2001, PPL 2002, PML 51, PPL 267, PPL 268, PPL 269, PPL 270, and PPL 271.

The NUPRC CEO has assured investors that the bid process for the 2024 Licensing Round will adhere to the principles of fairness, transparency and competitiveness in accordance with section 73(1) of the PIA which is restated in Regulation 5 of the Petroleum Licensing Round Regulations 2022 (PLR Regulations). It provides that the grant of petroleum prospecting licences or petroleum mining leases shall be based on a fair, transparent, and competitive bidding process, which will be in compliance with the PIA, the PLR Regulations and the licensing round guidelines issued by the NUPRC.

Guidelines for the 2024 Licensing Round
The NUPRC is yet to publish the licensing round guidelines. We will provide our analysis of the guidelines when it is published.

Should you have any questions on this legal alert, please do not hesitate to contact Oghogho Makinde, Oludare Senbore or Cephas Caleb.