The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) oversaw the marginal field round, which began in June 2020. DPR director Sarki Auwalu set out production expectations on May 26, during talks in Lagos.

“We expect first oil from most of the marginal fields, for which we just concluded the bid round, around January 2022,” he said, according to a statement from the DRP. All the problems that had slowed production “will go, and we need that money for the country”.

Auwalu was talking to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Bidders had paid 50% of signature bonuses for fields, as of March, the DPR reported. Auwalu, speaking in February, had said Nigeria expected to raise $500 million through the marginal field round.

“Investors are rushing to invest in all the 57 fields on offer. We want to grow the reserves because the growth of the reserves gives us global competitiveness. OPEC will only give you volumes based on your recoverable reserves,” the DPR executive said.

Investment is coming, he continued. “Once we form the SPVs [special purpose vehicles] for field development, you can see capital inflow into Nigeria, and definitely, we see a very bright future. Then, we expect to add more volumes because it is a game of numbers.”

The DPR has said 161 companies were competing for the fields. These bidders will team up through SPVs with other companies in order to develop fields. Some concerns have been expressed about how companies are teamed up, with DPR said to act as a matchmaker.

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