Richard Ginika Izuora
The federal government has scheduled to hold a mini-bid round for seven offshore blocks next year.
The exercise which is the first after the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, is expected to spur new exploration.
The last mini-bid round held in April 2007 under the old regulatory regime offered 45 blocks, Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, said in a statement.
Komolafe said 2D and 3D seismic data will be made available to prospective bidders among other information on the offshore blocks covering approximately 6,700 square km (2,590 square miles).
He added that interested companies will be invited to submit their pre-qualification applications by Jan. 31 following a pre-bid conference on Jan. 16.
Nigeria issued prospecting licenses in June to companies that won rights to develop marginal oilfields, some two years after authorities sought bids for the oil blocks.
Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks located onshore and in shallow waters and are typically developed by local companies.