The Federal Government, through the Department of Petroleum Resources, has opened a round of bidding for 57 marginal fields as part of efforts to develop oil and gas discoveries that had been left abandoned.

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The DPR disclosed this on Monday while announcing the commencement of the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round.

“The bid round is open to indigenous companies and investors interested in participating in the exploration and production business in Nigeria,” it said.

According to the agency, a marginal field is any field that has been discovered and has been left unattended for a period of not less than 10 years, from the date of first discovery, or such field as the President may, from time to time, identify as a marginal field.

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“A total of 57 fields located on land, swamp and shallow offshore terrains are on offer,” the DPR said.

It said the exercise, which would be conducted electronically, would include expression of interest/registration, pre-qualification, technical and commercial bid submission and bid evaluation.

“The overall process is not expected to take longer than six months, from the date of announcement and commencement to signing of farm-out agreement with the leaseholders,” the DPR said in its guidelines for the award and operations of marginal fields in the country.

The new licensing round is the first marginal field round since 2003.