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'DPR'll not revoke licences of 77 idle oil blocks'

By The Citizen
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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has said it would not revoke the licences of undeveloped oil blocks contrary to its earlier stand on idle acreages.

DPR Director, George Osahon, who spoke yesterday at a one-day forum on the 2005-2007 licensing round held in Lagos, said security issues might be the cause for the companies' inability to put the fields into production.

He said DPR awarded 77 oil acreages to several companies between 2005 and 2007, but lamented that only one of the blocks is currently producing, while less than 30 per cent of oil blocks awarded within that period are actively being worked on.

He explained that the non-performance of the blocks is due to insecurity in the Niger Delta, lack of adequate funds, technical challenges and data availability, adding that several production sharing contract (PSC) acreages, and bank guarantees were yet to be put in place as a result of the problems.

He said the preoccupation of the DPR is how to activate the dormant acreages to enable the country meet its aspiration of four million barrel per day production and 40 billion reserves.

He urged firms with dormant blocks to update the DPR with their challenges so as to find ways of reactivating the blocks.

Osahon, called for synergy between prospective investors and financial institutions to enable growth in the nation's oil and gas industry.

Mr. Dati pointed out that the second measure was to ensure that all bushes at the airports across the country were cleared to ensure full view of the perimeter fence, to allow the control tower, FAAN Fire and Rescue observation posts and aviation security patrol teams sweeping view of the entire perimeter of an airport from their duty posts.

According to him, 'Again, static observation posts will be erected at strategic locations within the perimeter fence of all airports to forestall premeditated and inadvertent unauthorised access to the airside. This will be complemented by motorised and foot patrols.'