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A critique of the legal framework for the development of marginal oil fields in Nigeria

Mobolaji P. Ezekiel
Okoro Benson Okwuchukwu


Marginal oil field development was introduced in Nigeria with the objectives of increasing indigenous participation in the upstream petroleum sector and increasing the national petroleum production capacity amongst others. Twenty-four (24) of the identified 116 marginal fields were awarded to 31 indigenous companies in 2003. In 2017, the Federal Government announced her readiness to carry out a new round of licensing bid. It is against this background that this work seeks to examine the successful factors and challenges of marginal oil field development in Nigeria. The basic question is, to what extent has the objectives for its introduction been achieved? It is sad to know that the development of marginal oil field is lagging or has not been fully successful, despite the policy initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Only nine of the fields are producing as many of the marginal field operators are battling with funding, social, political, environmental and technical challenges. The paper proffers solutions to the identified challenges and concludes that if the government is serious about fully achieving the objectives of the introduction of marginal oil field development in Nigeria, there should be adequate support to marginal field operators towards the development of the fields

Key Words: “Marginal Oil Field”, “International Oil Companies”, “Department of Petroleum Resources”