As one of the world’s leading crude oil depot, Nigeria has a good number of oil blocks in the country. Crude oil is Nigeria’s richest export and contributes a lion share to the country’s economy. The industry has enriched Nigeria so much so that the government had to create a special account to store the excess returns gotten from the industry. A large amount of crude oil is found mostly in the southern part of the country.
It is not uncommon to find that many people are eager to own an oil bloc. This is owing to the excess profit the business brings. The federal government oversees the oil blocks in the country and allocates them as it wishes. However, Femi Falana has recently warned the government to desist from allocating oil blocs to individuals and International Oil Companies (IOC) with the claim that the act is unconstitutional.
There are 390 oil blocks in Nigeria spread across different states. It is interesting to note that more than 50% of these blocks have remained untapped. A recent data obtained from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have shown that 211 of the blocks are yet to be allocated by the Federal Government. According to the DPR, only 179 blocks have been allocated as of December 2017, comprising 111 Oil Mining Leases and 68 Oil Prospecting Licenses.
Nigeria has seven basins, namely Anambra, Benin, Benue, Bida, Chad, Niger Delta, and Sokoto. In Anambra, 12 out of 19 blocks have not been allocated; in Benin, 39 out of 50 are open; in Benue, 41 out of 43 are still idle, while none of the 17 blocks in Bida has been allocated. In Chad basin, 40 out of 46 blocks are open; in the oil-rich Niger Delta, 34 out of 187 blocks are still idle, while Sokoto’s 28 blocks remain unallocated.