Nigerian Tendering Process Now Digital

April 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Nigeria’s bid tendering process for the oilfield services and drilling markets includes a pre-qualification stage, a technical evaluation stage, and a commercial stage. In January 2010, the pre-qualification stage was modified to require online pre-registration for all suppliers prior to bid submission.

Since 1995, when NNPC created an online electronic center to streamline the contracting process, the Nigerian Petroleum Exchange (NipeX), a virtual community that links buyers and suppliers, has increasingly played a role in the tendering process and is now the hub of Nigerian tendering.

Starting on January 1, 2010, all tenders within the National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS) must be processed through the NipeX portal. Manual submissions of contracting documents for approval will no longer be accepted nor will manual submissions of suppliers’ bids. All contracting documents must go through the NipeX portal, and all suppliers of goods and services in the Nigerian oil and gas industry must register online to be eligible to participate in new opportunities. Only registered and pre-qualified companies can submit rigs or services for a job. The registration fee is $200, and a brief application (.pdf) must be completed.

Through NipeX, suppliers will see lower processing costs and have access to more opportunities. Likewise, NNPC will also see a lower processing cost, be able to accelerate first oil, facilitate the Nigerian content program, and benefit from an efficient purchasing process and increased transparency.

To become a pre-qualified supplier, the NipeX Joint Qualification System (NJQS) team must first audit the company – in part to ensure Nigerian content – by making a mandatory visit to the supplier’s site or facility. If the audit is successful, the company is qualified for up to two years. Suppliers cannot register and become qualified after the tender starts, thus it is important to register early to avoid missing out on future requirements.

So far, only a handful of international drilling contractors are currently registered.

New entrants have to establish a local presence before registering and pre-qualifying to bid. Noble and Transocean have established themselves in Nigeria through the creation of local subsidiaries. Noble has even put the ownership of one of their rigs against a local subsidiary.

Another approach is to partner with a local company. For example, Seadrill has an agreement in place with Petrolog, a Nigerian company. Petrolog is Seadrill’s official representative in Nigeria, and all Nigerian contracts are assigned to Petrolog. In exchange for this service, Petrolog takes a percentage of the dayrate generated by Seadrill’s Nigerian rig contracts.


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