Nigeria’s expired oil blocks to hit 47 by 2019

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A man stands in a boat loaded with pump engines at the Bodo cleanup site in Rivers State, Nigeria. Unlike clean-up operations run routinely by oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, this one is backed by local communities and teams of scientists who will take samples of water, mud and soil in each area to measure progress and determine the best cleaning method. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

NEITI has alleged that past upstream licensing processes in Nigeria have fallen short of best practices

The number of expired oil blocks in Nigeria will rise to 47 by 2019 amidst fear of corruption and lack of global best practices in the renewal of the assets due for the year slated for the forthcoming generation elections, investigations have revealed.

Already, 28 of the blocks had expired as at last quarter of 2016, according to a document of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), sighted by this newspaper last weekend.

Nigeria, the document showed, had 392 blocks out of, which 208 blocks are open.

“Seventy five of the blocks are Oil Prospecting Licenses (OPLs) while 109 of the blocks are Oil Mining Lease (OMLs),” the document stated.

Going back the memory lane, a former Deputy Director of DPR, Sunday Adebayo Babalola, who confirmed the figure, said that 28 oil blocks had already expired as at 2016, when he left the DPR.

“Twenty four of these blocks are Oil Prospecting Licenses (OPLs) while the remaining four expired blocks are Oil Mining Leases (OMLs),” he said.

“While 47 Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) will expire in less than five years, 27 OPLs will also be due for renewal in less than five years,” he declared, adding that between “five and ten years, 15 OMLs would have also expired while 43 of the OMLs would also expire after ten years.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (NEITI) has alleged, in its latest report, that past upstream licensing processes in Nigeria have fallen well short of best practices and failed to secure maximum value for the country’s assets.

This, it said, led to public controversy, including lawsuits, indictments, sacking, cancelled or revoked awards, and legislative probes.

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Joseph Afam (Local Contents and Partnership Editor) (070 3949 0464) Joseph Afam is a energy and finance journalist, who has years of experience in journalism, he started his journalism career in Nigeria’s top financial newspaper in Lagos. He’s a graduate of Economics and Finance from University of Ebonyi State, Nigeria He has won series of awards and regconitions Contact him for any editorial deals and advertorial issues on # Joseph.Afam@naija247news.com, editor@naija247news.com, Cell: 070 3949 0464