The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Commission (NUPRC) in compliance with the provisions of Section 71 (1) – (10) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 has granted a Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) to TGS-PetroData Offshore Services Limited (TGS-PD).
The PEL is the first under the PIA 2021 and is under the licence agreement which the Commission and TGS-PD executed for a Geophysical Survey Project for the acquisition of about 56,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic and gravity data.
The development is another milestone in the smooth implementation of the PIA for the attraction of investment in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
Without data, reserves cannot be auctioned for development and revenue attraction.
The NUPRC said in a statement that data acquired under the PEL is not proprietary but speculative/multi-client survey data but one acquired in partnership with the commission.
The statement signed by the Commission’s Chief Executive, Engr, Gbenga Komolafe, said, “The licence therefore authorizes TGS-PetroData Offshore to carry out non-exclusive Petroleum Exploration Operations on a multi-client basis within the licensed area and permits the use of the acquired 3D seismic and gravity data by exploration companies.
“Due to the specialized nature of the Geophysical Survey Vessel to be used for the acquisition of the 3D seismic and gravity data, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) granted no objection to TGS-PD to deploy the facility.
“The acquisition of the 3D seismic and gravity data commenced on July 17, 2023, and the processed data will be available for use by mid-2024.”
The NUPRC stated that the scope of the Geophysical Survey Project includes acquisition of about 11,900 sq. km of new 3D seismic and gravity data in water depth ranging from 30m to 4000m offshore Niger Delta, and acquiring seismic and gravity data at the same time will improve the correlation of identified structures and reservoirs among others.
Based on section 71(7) of the PIA, the Commission and Federal Government will benefit from the revenue that will be generated from the data use licence that will be granted to interested exploration companies by TGS-PD.
It added that the new 3D seismic and gravity data being acquired will further provide an opportunity for understanding the regional petroleum system of the ultra-deep waters of Nigeria and unlock the hydrocarbon prospect of Nigeria’s frontier basins (Ultra-deep offshore).
The statement added, “The 3D seismic and gravity data when acquired will be useful in future deep water licencing rounds which will attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into oil and gas exploration in Nigeria.”