The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that marginal oil fields in Nigeria produced 1.52 million barrels of crude oil and condensates in August 2020.

This accounts for about 2.97% of the country’s total oil and condensates production of 51.147 million barrels in the month under review.

Marginal oil fields were created exclusively to drive local content and indigenous participation in the nation’s upstream oil industry.

A marginal field is any field that has reserves booked and reported annually to the Department of Petroleum Resources and has remained unproduced for a period of over 10 years.

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In its crude oil production report for August 2020, which was released last weekend, NNPC said that the 1.52 million barrels of crude oil produced in August was 14.61% lower than the 1.78 million barrels produced in the previous month of July.

The report also stated that the August percentage contribution recorded a decline from 3.47% in July, while the total output in August represented a marginal drop of 0.21% below the July output.

The national oil company pointed out that the developments in the marginal field output came on the heels of government’s effort to increase the participation of indigenous oil firms in crude oil and gas production.

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Last July, the federal government offered 57 marginal oil fields for concession. The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) confirmed later that over 600 companies applied to be prequalified for the 57 marginal oilfields.

The director of DPR, Mr Auwalu Sarki, said the exercise attracted widespread interest. He confirmed that the department even witnessed increase in bidders after the extension of the deadline to June 21.

Auwalu described the bid for the 57 marginal fields as successful, given that for the 57 fields over 600 bid were received. “So we can say that we are celebrating success so far,” he said in July.

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Sarki had also assured that strategic programmes have been put in place by the DPR to mitigate the impact of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

He said part of the strategy was to reduce the number of workers on offshore locations and construction sites, encourage decontamination, testing and working with health agencies, especially the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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