Nigeria continues to set its sights on holding an oil licensing round for marginal fields before the end of this year, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said.
Last October, the minister had said the government planned to hold bid rounds for major and marginal fields before the year is up, but it is uncertain if there would be enough time to hold the tenders before the year runs out.
The Minister is also in license renewal talks with Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron over existing onshore fields, after ExxonMobil signed a renewal earlier this year.
She added that the Federal Government was in talks with international oil companies (IOCs) and local oil and gas companies to reach an agreement on fiscal terms proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The PIB is a comprehensive legislation aimed at instituting reforms in the oil and gas sector and increasing the country’s share of profits from oil pumped off its shores. The government has argued that extraction laws going back to 1993 are based on crude at $20 a barrel and unrealistic at prices that are now more than four times as high. But the IOCs have warned Nigeria against deterring investment.