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FG to withdraw unused oil exploration leases

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The Federal Government has expressed the plan to withdraw the unused oil exploration leases, issued by the government.

Stating this while speaking with Reuters on Monday, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum and Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, said the government would take back leases from companies who have not been able to carry out any exploration activities on them since they were granted the leases.

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Komolafe revealed that only companies with viable technical and financial backup would be permitted to retain their leases.

“Based on PIA (Petroleum Industry Act), the commission is focused on delivering value for the nation so only firms that are technically and financially viable will keep their leases,” he said.

According to the Director, the commission would initiate reviews of these leases, and awards of new leases would be “subject to specific terms and conditions.”

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The latest data from the NUPRC shows that about 53 exploration leases were issued from 2003 till date; over 60 per cent of the prospecting licenses issued to local and foreign oil firms had expired.

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