MARGINAL FIELD DEVELOPMENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
A marginal field is an oil/gas field discovered to contain hydrocarbon deposit but left fallow for a period exceeding ten years. Such fields are awarded to Nigerian independent companies in order to encourage local participation in the upstream sector and increase the country's hydrocarbon reserve base and production capacity. The first marginal field licensing round was in 2003. Some of the awardees have developed their fields and have commenced production while others are at different levels of development. Marginal fields have increased Nigeria's oil/gas reserve base and production capacity thereby increasing revenue for the nation. Many Nigerians have become Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers as well as other top positions in the upstream sector through the marginal field policy. The policy has thus increased local capacity in the upstream sector. Despite the huge opportunities inherent in marginal field, there are many challenges facing the development of such fields. This work reviewed the opportunities that marginal fields present to Nigerians and Nigeria as a country. The work also studied the challenges facing marginal field development in Nigeria and presented recommendations on how to mitigate such challenges.