Out of about 300 companies that applied for Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has shortlisted 139 firms.

The NGFCP is the gas buying and trading scheme to end gas flaring from 48 oil production sites in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe said at the NGFCP Bdders’ Conference and Investors’ Forum, on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), that the forum was being organised to intimate qualified applicants, partners, sponsors and technology providers on the structure of the “Request for Proposal (RFP)”.

Mr. Komolafe said that it was also an opportunity to provide further guidance on upcoming programme of activities while listening and collating feedback from all participants towards optimising the RFP phase.

He said that the programme received about 300 applications during the Statement of Qualification (SOQ) phase of this bid process before the emergence of the 139 successful applicants in line with the RFQ published criteria.

“Therefore, for all qualified applicants, your success on the SOQ stage is no mean feat, however, that was only a start of the journey as the real deal is in making a robust and competitive proposal.

“This proposal must be with demonstrable evidence for capacity to deliver on the flare monetisation projects, in line with the terms of the RFP would be your desired destination.

“Apart from forestalling the deleterious impacts of gas flaring on the environment, the programme also ends the wanton wastage of our premium economic resource.

“In today’s carbon constrained world, where fossil fuel is becoming less popular, in view of issues of climate change, natural gas has assumed a stature of significant importance as the bridging fuel for many oil and gas producing nations.

“For us here in Nigeria, gas has been adopted as our transition fuel to drive the industrialisation of the nation’s economy in line with the expectations of the Decade of Gas Initiatives launched by the Government,” Komolafe said.

According to him, the NGFCP scheme also aimed to create investment and employment opportunities as well as encouraging increased capital inflow to the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

He noted that the value derivable was multifaceted, as it aligned with the focus areas of the country’s sustainable development goals.

“The NGFCP 2022 is first among series of competitive auctions whereby Flare Gas that would otherwise have been directed to flare will be put on sale by the Commission to interested entities as prospective title holders of the flare gas.

“In this programme, prospective bidders are expected to submit bid proposals in line with the requirements and terms of the RFP, covering such areas as technical, commercial, financial, and other relevant information regarding the project that the qualified applicant intends to develop.

“Such projects may include a plan to use the gas as fuel or feedstock or both for products to be disposed of in either the domestic or international markets.

“All Proposals from bidders will be judged strictly on their merits according to the criteria published in RFP document which has since been uploaded on the NGFCP portal,” the NUPRC boss said.

He said that applicants for the second phase of the programme would have access to the data room for data prying and leasing, including suite of commercial agreements, for the 48 gas flare sites on offer in the NGFCP 2022.

According to Komolafe, the precise flare sites, volumes and compositions of gas offer would be accessed in the data room available to the applicants via the NGFCP 2022 portal upon payment of relevant fees as prescribed in the RFP.

“The data room sessions will be held virtually to provide flexibility and comfort to all participants,” he said.

He assured that NUPRC would ensure an open, transparent, competitive, and non-discriminatory bidding process in line with the provisions of Section 74 of Petroleum Industry Act.

Also speaking, the Manager, Legal Unit of NUPRC, Austin Okwah, explained that the bidding companies were expected to submit their proposals online and physical and must contain details of their mandatory consortium information.

Mr. Okwah said that the proposals must also contain bid bonds issued by reputable banks or insurance companies.

He listed three agreements that underpinned the programme to include Milestone Agreement, which defined programme conceptualisation (agreement between the commission and flare gas buyer).

Others are Gas Sales Agreement, which had quantity limitation and guarantee, as well as Connection Agreement, which required taking the gas from the flare herder to the project site and operation procedures.