Nigeria’s government has commenced the pre-bid exercise for the seven new oil blocs by engaging UK-based research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie to drive the 2022-23 oil bid round, The Guardian newspaper reported.

The seven offshore blocks cover an area of nearly 6,700 kilometres and a water depth of 1,150 to 3,100 metres.

The mini-bid round is a market-driven programme expected to outperform the last bid round of 45 blocks in April 2007.

The mini-bid exercise has been designed to attract competent investors worldwide, said Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission CEO Gbenga Komolafe.

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources is seeking to have a production capacity of 37-40 billion barrels of oil by 2025, the report said.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)