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NUPRC grants first Petroleum exploration licence

NUPRC grants first Petroleum exploration licence
NUPRC grants first Petroleum exploration licence (Photo: Punch News)

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Commission (NUPRC) has granted a Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) to TGS-PetroData Offshore Services Limited (TGS-PD) for a Geophysical Survey Project that will enable the acquisition of 3D seismic and gravity data for offshore operations.

According to a press statement signed by the NUPRC Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Thursday, the deal was in compliance with the provisions of Section 71 (1) – (10) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

He said the PEL was the first under the PIA 2021 and is under the licence agreement which the Commission and TGS-PD executed for a Geophysical Survey Project for the acquisition of about 56,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic and gravity data.

The development, according to him, is a milestone in the smooth implementation of the PIA for the attraction of investment in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, adding that without data, reserves cannot be auctioned for development and revenue generation.

Explaining the mode of operation of the agreement, Komolafe said: “Data acquired under the PEL is not proprietary but speculative/multi-client survey data acquired in partnership with the NUPRC.

“The licence therefore authorises TGS-PetroData Offshore to carry out non-exclusive Petroleum Exploration Operations on a multi-client basis within the licensed area and permits the use of the acquired 3D seismic and gravity data by exploration companies.

“Due to the specialised nature of the Geophysical Survey Vessel to be used for the acquisition of the 3D seismic and gravity data, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) granted no objection to TGS-PD to deploy the facility”

He further explained the scope of the first phase of the Geophysical Survey Project to include: the acquisition of about 11,900 sq. km of new 3D seismic and gravity data in water depth ranging from 30m to 4000m offshore Niger Delta to improve the correlation of identified structures and reservoirs.

The acquisition of Record length of 14 seconds which according to him, is the first of its kind in Nigeria and will image deeper reservoirs that have not been imaged offshore Niger Delta before.

The acquired seismic and gravity data will be processed using the latest TGS proprietary technology and licensed to exploration companies, he added.

He highlighted the benefits of the transaction to Nigeria to include:

Availability of new regional 3D seismic and gravity data in deep waters ranging from 30m to 4000m offshore Niger Delta.

The Commission has the sole right and title over the acquired raw and interpreted data to be obtained by the licensee (TGS-PD) under a petroleum exploration licence. Therefore, the 3D seismic and gravity data belongs to the Nigerian Government.

Based on section 71(7) of the PIA, the Commission and Federal Government of Nigeria shall benefit from the revenue that will be generated from the data use licence that will be granted to interested exploration companies by TGS-PD.

The new 3D seismic and gravity data being acquired will further provide an opportunity for understanding the regional petroleum system of the ultra-deep waters of Nigeria and unlock the hydrocarbon prospectivity of Nigeria’s frontier basins (Ultra-deep offshore).

Other benefits are:

The 3D seismic and gravity data when acquired will be useful in future deep water licencing rounds which will attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into oil and gas exploration in Nigeria.

Create opportunities for increasing oil and gas reserves and production.

Create opportunities for Nigerian Content Development and employment of Nigerian professionals.

The statement noted that the acquisition of the 3D seismic and gravity data commenced on July 17, 2023, and the processed data will be available for use by mid-2024.

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Written by Percy Onyeka

A seasoned Tech/Business Analyst, Digital Media Consultant , Publisher and Entrepreneur with more than a decade experience. Online Editor in Chief-New National Star newspaper and a host of clients...

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