International oil companies operating in Nigeria have said that they are not against the government’s decision to review the deepwater Offshore Production Sharing Contract Act recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, but that they want a win-win situation where all stakeholders are happy.
They spoke Tuesday at the ongoing Practical Nigerian Content Conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The IOCs say such an approach would enable the industry to grow its reserves from the current 38 billion barrels to a higher volume and even promote local content in the industry better.
The oil companies which were represented by their managing directors said Nigeria was blessed with skilled personnel and resources required for the industry to be great but declared that the government should provide the needed enabling the environment.
Osagie Okunbor, managing director of Shell Petroleum Development Company said that the problem of the country is not reserve increase, not skills needed for growing the industry as Nigeria is second to none in term of technical capacity. He said Nigeria can run the oil and gas industry successfully, but needed an enabling environment to thrive.
According to him, the government should make sure it creates a stable and enabling environment to move the industry forward.
He said embracing local content was the way to go as it has a commercial advantage because it will ensure skills are grown. “It is something everybody must strike to grow.”
Speaking in the same vein, the managing director of Chevron, Jeff Ewing, said the challenge was that there was a need to generate more work in the industry by creating an enabling environment.
“The big projects must have the right fiscal regimes to fly,” he said.
The managing director of ExxonMobil, Paul McGrath summed up his opinion by saying that the industry has a bit of support in terms of fiscal regimes.
He, however, stated that he was happy that the minister of State for Petroleum said he would make the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill a priority project in the first quarter of the year 2020.
They were reacting to a statement of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Silva, in which he vowed to implement to the letter the recently signed Deepwater Offshore PSC act.
Silva has vowed to implement the letters of the Deepwater Offshore PSC act recently signed to law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said implementing the content of the bill was one of his major priorities and that he would not hesitate to do anything in the oil and gas industry that would benefit Nigerians
The minister who disclosed this at the ongoing Practical Nigerian Content in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State also said he would ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill was signed into law and also implement the Gas commercialisation programme of the Federal Government.