The Federal Government has granted a Petroleum Exploration Licence to TGS-PetroData Offshore Services Limited, which is the first of such licence to be issued under the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

It said the licence, which was granted by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Commission, was in compliance with the provisions of Section 71 (1) – (10) of the PIA.

It also announced, on Thursday, that Nigeria’s oil drilling rigs had increased from 10 in 2022, to 31 in August this year, a development that gave rise to increased crude oil output in September, as exclusively reported by The PUNCH on Thursday.

The Chief Executive, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, said the Petroleum Exploration Licence was under the licence agreement which the commission and TGS-PD executed for a geophysical survey project.

He said in a statement he personally signed that the licence was for the acquisition of about 56,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic and gravity data, adding that the development would attract investment in the oil and gas sector.

“Without data, reserves cannot be auctioned for development and revenue attraction. Data acquired under the PEL is not proprietary but speculative/multi-client survey data acquired in partnership with the NUPRC.

“The licence therefore authorises 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,” Komolafe stated.

On the rise in Nigeria’s rigs count, the NUPRC boss noted that in the years preceding the enactment of the PIA, investments in the Nigerian oil and gas industry declined mostly due to regulatory uncertainty, de-funding of fossil fuel development occasioned by energy transition and the global call for decarbonisation.

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