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    Over 600 Firms Express Interest in Nigeria's Marginal Fields


Past attempts to develop Nigeria's marginal fields have floundered.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Over 600 Firms Express Interest in Nigeria's Marginal Fields

Nigeria's first marginal fields tender in 17 years has attracted interest from over 600 companies, its department of petroleum resources (DPR) reported on July 8, despite poor market conditions.

The companies have applied to prequalify for a contest for rights to 57 marginal fields – discoveries made over 10 years ago that have not been developed. The DPR attributed the strong interest to the "transparent and credible procedures" it has put in place.

There was a 30% increase in participation after the department opted to extend the deadline for applications until June 21, the DPR's director Auwalu Sarki said. The 10 to 1 ratio between participants and fields is cause for celebration, he said. The DPR is now deciding which companies to clear to the next round. 

Nigeria held its last marginal fields round in 2003, leading to the award of rights to 24 fields. But few of these discoveries ever made it to production. The government attempted to hold additional contests in 2013 and 2017 as well, but these did not materialise. Marginal fields have typically been overlooked because of their small size, geological complexity or location far away from infrastructure.