NURPC to investigate exploration, production companies to curb oil theft, boost production

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) from today will start investigating the activities of exploration and production companies as part of its efforts to address oil theft and boost production in the country.

Gbenga Komolafe, chief executive officer (CEO), NUPRC, made this known in a statement on Tuesday, where he said the commission will do everything within its authority to challenge the narrative and halt further degeneration by ensuring transparency in hydrocarbon accounting.

Komolafe said although the NUPRC is not an operator or a producer, it has a statutory responsibility as a regulator to probe into the situation and seek drastic solutions to the challenges as the current situation has seriously affected the country’s economy and posed a huge challenge to the funding of the national budgets.

“One of the steps, in line with its technical and regulatory powers, is to probe into the operational and commercial activities of exploration and production companies operating within the country to ascertain the level of compliance with the terms and conditions in their operational contracts, as well as the challenges impeding expected deliveries,” he said.

He added that the commission will particularly be interested in the mode of operation of the companies in relation to the approvals as per their operational licences, the level of conformity with the technical provisions and production terms, their level of investments to enhance capacity utilization, and the challenges they are facing, especially those contributing to the current unacceptable situation.

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“Already invitations have been extended to all the operators for the engagement during which they would be expected to present their work programme performance, acreage status, divestment plans (if any), field development plan (FDP) implementation status, Upstream investment in the last five years, exploration activities including geophysical acquisition/processing/re.processing, leads and prospects maturation plans; and exploratory wells drilled in the last five years,” he revealed.

Komolafe added that the companies would be required to present their reserve status, life index, current reserves replacement ratio (RRR) & reserves growth strategy (RGS), status of Joint Venture/Production Sharing Contract activities.

This is inclusive of ongoing facility projects, number of drilled wells, re-entry applications and approvals granted in the past five years; shut-in wells, their potentials and reactivation plans and expected incremental volumes; technical allowable/production performance and production optimization strategy, including production profile for the last ten years; status of production facilities, as well as unit technical cost of production on field basis.

He add d that the commission would also insist on knowing their gas development strategy, gas reserves commitment status and domestic gas delivery obligation performance; status of utilization activities (if any); crude oil evacuation route and exported volumes from January this year, status of statutory payments as well as the challenges they are facing in the course of their operations.

“The move by the Commission is to ensure transparency and accountability in the industry to guarantee effective operation and output delivery in the interest of the country’s economy and the benefit of the investors and industry operators,” Komolafe said.

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