June 23, 2024
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Nigeria Considers Revoking Unused Oil Exploration Leases

Nigeria’s oil regulator, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum and Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), is contemplating the revocation of unused oil exploration leases granted to companies that have not conducted any exploration activities.

Reuters reported that over 60% of the prospecting licenses issued to local and foreign oil firms have reportedly expired, raising concerns as the country seeks new investments to boost oil production.

The Nigerian government had issued 53 exploration leases dating back to 2003, with 33 having expired, and four facing contract disputes, according to Reuters.

“Based on PIA (Petroleum Industry Act), the commission is focused on delivering value for the nation so only firms that are technically and financially viable will keep their leases,” Gbenga Komolafe, CEO of NUPRC, told Reuters.

Reuters says some of the expired leases belong to listed energy firm Oando and the exploration unit of TotalEnergies.

Komolafe said the commission will initiate reviews of these leases and awards of new leases would be “subject to specific terms and conditions.”

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