NNPC upstream operations are in joint partnerships with the major oil companies. These multi-national Exploration & Production companies are operating predominantly in the on-shore Niger Delta, coastal offshore areas and lately in the deepwaters.
As with many other developing countries, the multinationals in Nigeria had been operating under what is called a concession system, with NNPC being the concessionaire, while the companies are the operators.
NNPC also is responsible for the management of the exploration bidding rounds for oil and gas.
The multinational oil companies operate in partnership with NNPC under Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs).