Abstract

This study is to propose a transparent mechanism among host governments and international oil companies (or IOCs) so an amicable "win-win" situation can be achieved on the negotiation of the petroleum contracts for the development of marginal fields.

Marginal field has various definitions. It can be a field with recoverable reserve not exceeding 30 million barrels of oil or 500 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas (Abdul Razak 2011, Malaysian Petroleum Income Tax Act 1967). It also can be a field, somehow "stranded", needs an oil price of US$60/bbl to be commercial (Aziz 2019). Or as simpe as it can be, a marginal field in Nigeria is any field being left unattended for more than ten years from the date of discovery (Auwalu 2020). In this paper, the author recommends that a marginal field be difined as any undeveloped field with a zero present value at 10% discount rate (or PV10 Value = 0) based on the average commodity price of previous 12 months’ first-day-of-the-month prices. This definition is conformable to the SEC pricing guidelines for publicly traded IOCs in the U.S.A. (Scheig n.d.).

Host governments endeavor to bring foreign fund and technology to develop their hydrocarbon resources effectively for the benefit of national welfare. IOCs are eager to expand into other promising areas for more hydrocarbon reserves in order to strengthen the balance sheets. A well-designed petroleum fiscal regime can thus achieve the balance between host governments and IOCs (Tordo 2007).

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