• Saturday, December 02, 2023
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NUPRC taps advanced cargo declaration to tackle oil theft

We followed due process to issue marginal field award, NUPRC insist

As part of efforts to curb incessant oil theft in the country, the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has introduced the Advanced Cargo Declaration regime in upstream petroleum operations to arrest oil robbery and curtail export of stolen crude oil.

The commission also disclosed plans to reactivate shut-in wells as part of initiatives to increase oil and gas production in the country.

Gbenga Komolafe, the commission’s chief executive disclosed this latest intervention at the NAEC Annual International Strategic Conference 2023, organised by the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) in Lagos.

The theme of the conference is ‘‘Nigeria’s Energy Transition: Enhancing Investment Opportunities and Addressing Challenges in the Oil and Gas Sector.

Read also: Nigeria lost N16.25 trillion to oil theft in 11 years- Abass

Komolafe, represented by Abel Nsa, Head of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC) Department, NUPRC, said the initiative aims at ensuring that crude oil and gas cargoes exported from Nigeria have a unique identifier that confirms all documentation as regards the exported consignment.

‘‘This implies that any cargo without the unique identifier becomes tagged as illegitimate,” he said. “This, by no small measure, enhances transparency in our export operations.”

He hinted further that NUPRC deployed key resources to the Special Investigative Unit of the Commission to forestall any cases of sharp practices by operators in the sector.

‘‘Over the next few months, we are positive that we shall record a marked increase in our national oil and gas production volumes,” Nsa said.

“Quick-win strategies such as our aggressive drive to reactivate shut-in and declining wells will boost production prior to the onset of more long-term initiatives like operations from the new Marginal Field awardees.

“Also, the Commission is working alongside security operatives to bring a halt to the menace of crude oil theft, which has over the years contributed to a huge loss of production.”

The CCE added that the agency had begun the implementation of the Drill or Drop Provision with a comprehensive review of assets which had been undeveloped by operators.

Read also: Nigeria lost N16.25trn to oil theft from 2009 to 2020 – NEITI

Such assets, he said, would be placed in a basket and then offered to willing and qualified investors with the capacity to explore, develop and produce the block(s) or field(s) in a timely, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly manner.

He stated that the ongoing mini bid round for seven Deep Offshore Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) would boost the nation’s reserves as well as bring about anticipated benefits to the nation and other stakeholders.

On reduction in unit cost per barrel and revenue, he explained that the Commission is committed to ensuring a significant reduction in the cost of doing business in the upstream petroleum industry.

‘‘Following an in-depth comparative analysis between the Unit Operating Cost (UOC) in Nigeria and those obtainable in other climes.

“We have commenced the development of cost studies and benchmarks to ensure an improvement in the cost efficiency of our upstream petroleum operations, in accordance with Section 8 of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

Read also: Cargo Tracking Note will check the importation of arms and crude oil theft – Jime

The NUPRC has also began a review of all Crude Handling Agreements (CHA) with a view to entrenching openness and competitiveness, thereby reducing the cost of production while increasing government revenue from the sector

It is noteworthy that in the year 2022, using the strategies listed above, the Commission outperformed its revenue collection target by 18.3 per cent,’’

Komolafe maintained that the Commission had stepped up efforts toward transparency in the sector and that transparency in hydrocarbon accounting was essential in ensuring maximum value derivation by the government and stakeholders.

According to him, transparency is essential to ensuring security of investments made by our financial partners.