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Unlocking Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Potential: NNPC Reveals 36 Blocks Under Concession

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) recently revealed that 36 oil and gas blocks across Nigeria are currently under concession to a mix of international oil companies (IOCs) and indigenous players. These concessions span across various terrains, including deepwater, continental shelf, onshore, swamp, and partially swamp areas.

According to NNPC’s latest financials, the 36 blocks comprise a mix of oil prospecting licences (OPLs) and oil mining leases (OMLs). OPLs allow companies to explore, whereas OMLs permit commercial levels of production once exploration confirms viable quantities of oil or gas reserves.

Specific OPLs listed include 244, 242, 214, 223, 251, and 325. Key OMLs outlined are 154, 139, 119, 60-63, 111, 148, 65, 26, 28, 30, 34, 64, 66, 4, 11, 13, 24, 98, 38, 49, 41, 40, 86, 88, 42, 20, and 51.

Per NNPC’s report, 9 blocks are currently undergoing oil exploration, while 20 blocks are already producing. Another three blocks are in the development stages. Some blocks have merged status across the producing, under-development, and exploration categories.

NNPC Exploration and Production Limited (NEPL), a subsidiary, holds 100% interest in 9 blocks: OPL 242 and OMLs 119, 111, 65, 34, 64, 4, 11, and 24. NNPC, via NEPL, also holds varying levels of interest across the other blocks in partnership with other players.

International operators running these concessions include Eni’s Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), ExxonMobil, Total, Chevron, Oando, Seplat, and others. NNPC operates OMLs 11, 20, 49, and 51 on behalf of joint venture partners to build capacity since no direct financial compensation applies currently.

Overall, these concessions underscore NNPC’s mandate since the Petroleum Industry Act to commercially operate like an integrated private oil company spanning exploration, development, production, and energy trading. Revenues realised from the 36 blocks and other assets fund NNPC’s operations and wider national development priorities.

Sustaining transparency and accountability in managing proceeds from these key national assets will remain crucial for optimally leveraging Nigeria’s oil and gas endowments for the greater benefit of all citizens.


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