Lagos court rulings complicate Nigeria’s plan for oilfield licensing round

Judges in Lagos have blocked Nigeria’s efforts to revoke two oilfield licences, court documents seen by Reuters showed, a move that could compromise a full licensing round for marginal fields which the government is aiming to launch as early as this month.

Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks that are typically developed by indigenous companies. Nigeria had revoked the licences so these fields could go into the new licensing round – the first marginal field round since 2002 – which the country hopes will boost oil output and bring in much-needed revenues from fees associated with the licences.

The Ororo field, OML 95, and the Dawes Island Marginal Oil Field, formerly called OML 54, were among 11 licences revoked by the Department of Petroleum Resources in April.

All 11 were set to be included in a total of 56 fields in the marginal field licensing round.

Two different judges in Lagos granted decisions on May 27 that halt the inclusion of the two fields in any licensing round, the court documents seen by Reuters showed.


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