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FG TO SELL OIL BLOCKS NEXT QUARTER

The Nigerian government is scrambling for resources

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Written by Mohammed Shosanya, Lagos
Federal Government said at the weekend that it will sell a number of oil blocks to fresh bidders in the second quarter of this year.
The Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Osten Olorunshola who disclosed this at the agency’s first quarter media briefing in Lagos did not say the exact number of oil wells that would be sold, saying it is only the president that can tell.
The DPR usually plays a prominent role in oil licensing as it always organized it on behalf of the Federal Government. Olorunshola said the 2012 auction is imperative in view of the need to open up the nation’s oil.
The last major oil bid conducted in 2007 involving 45 oil blocks was stewed in litigation. It fetched the Federal Government $615 million.
Attempts by the government to conduct another oil bid was weighed down by factors such as pending litigations on previous auctions, Petroleum Industry Bill and insecurity.
The director also said the agency has set in motion ways to bolster the nation’s refining capacity in other to stem the deluge of petroleum products into Nigeria.
He said the DPR has successfully ensured reduction of gas flare in the operations of oil and gas companies in the country.
He said though it was not possible to achieve zero flare due to operational flare, his agency would work vigorously to further reduce the flare to 10 percent in no distant time.
He further said the agency is re-launching a new drive to ensure optimal use of gas not only for domestic use but also for power generation in order to solve acute power problem in the country.
He spoke on the recent fire incident at Chevron Nigeria Limited facility and expressed regrets over the development.
According to him, his agency will launch a detailed investigation into the cause of the fire incident in order to prevent recurrence.
On the alarm raised by Standards Organisation of Nigeria over the presence of adulterated petroleum products in the country, the director said it was not true.
He said the sister agency raised false alarm with a view to castigate the agency, adding that the DPR has effectively regulated the operations of oil and gas for 50 years.
Daily Trust

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