Nigerian authorities have extended the tenor of licenses to marginal field holders; granting four (4) more years to companies whose fields have not reached production and awarding “the life of the field” to companies that have since commenced production.
In November 2009, the Government suspended the licenses of those companies who had not taken their fields to production, five (5) years after the highly competitive awards of 2004. That suspension has had significant ramifications for some of the companies, who could not access investment because of the action.
The six (6) companies and Joint Ventures who had commenced full scale, steady production before November 2009 include Platform-Newcross JV, Midwestern Oil&Gas-SunTrust, Waltersmith Petroman Limited, Pillar Oil, Brittania U and Energia/Oando. They all received life of the field awards, meaning that they are entitled to operate the fields for as long as there are commercial hydrocarbons still to be exploited.
Four (4) other companies are close to putting their fields on stream: Frontier Oil expects to commence production of the Uquo Field by the 4th Quarter of 2011; Sogenal is racing to put Akepo field on stream by around the same time and Movido, which has produced the Ekeh field intermittently, hopes to achieve full, steady production before the end of the year. Excel E&P Limited had once conducted extended testing of the Eremor field, but the company is still far from full scale production. These companies could only get license extension of four (4) years.
The companies that were unable to get close to first oil, and were also offered the opportunity for four (4) more years, include Sahara Energy (Tsekelewu field), Eurafric (Dawes Island field), Bicta Energy (Ogedeh field), Del Sigma (Ke field), Goland petroleum (Oriri field), Associated Oil & Gas (Tom Shot Bank field), Bicta Energy (Ogedeh field), Guarantee Petroleum (Ororo field), Chorus Energy (Amoji/Matsogo/Igbolo field), Universal Energy (Stubb Creek field), Network E&P (Qua Iboe field), Millenium Oil & Gas (Oza field), Independent Energy(Ofa field), Bayelsa Oil (Atala field) and Prime Energy (Assaramatoru field).