• Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Oil regulator moves to tackle theft, get new investments with 7 new regulations

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The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has rolled out and signed seven new regulations which have been successfully concluded and is being signed into law to guide the activities of industry operators.

These seven regulations makes it a total of 12 regulations now gazetted, out of the 18 regulations initially identified as priority regulations.

This is also part of the 13 draft regulations that were presented for discussion during consultations with stakeholders between 2022 and 2023, five of which was previously rolled out and gazetted into law between June and October 2022.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, in Abuja on Thursday, Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC said all the regulations are revolutionary in nature aimed at providing a regulatory environment that assures efficiency, predictability, clarity, and effectiveness to the industry in the discharge of the Commission’s mandate.

He noted that the process of development of these new sets of regulations followed strictly the prescriptions of the PIA, adding that inputs of the Stakeholders from the various engagements were considered in the drafting of these regulations.

The drafts, he said was forwarded to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for vetting, legislative standardization, and approval.

Read also: Petroleum regulator urges operators to obtain licenses or face penalties

Speaking on the seven new regulations, Komolafe said the first which is the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Measurement Regulations, 2023 will close the metering gap in upstream petroleum operations, encourage accelerated hydrocarbon measurement metering devices roll out in upstream petroleum operations while encouraging the development of independent and competitive meters used in the Upstream.

He added that it attract private investment in the provision of metering services, provide for the regulation of the measurement of petroleum produced, ensure transparent and accurate measurement of crude oil and gas as a basis for the calculation of oil and gas revenues accruable to the Government.

“Secondly is the Production Curtailment and Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation Regulations, 2023 which will provide the general rules for production curtailment and utilisation of the produced petroleum in relation to export and domestic crude oil supply obligation pursuant to sections 8(c) and 109 of the Act,” the CCE said.

Third is the Frontier Basins Exploration Fund Administration Regulations, 2023 which aims is to encourage and attract investment to the frontier basins in Nigeria. It will provide the general rules for the exercise of the Commission’s responsibilities with respect to frontier basins in Nigeria pursuant to section 9 of the Act and the administration of the Frontier Exploration Fund.

“The fourth is the Nigeria Upstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations 2023, Itseeks to ensure that decommissioning and abandonment activities are conducted in accordance with good international petroleum industry practice. The regulations also set the framework for the establishment and administration of a Decommissioning and Abandonment Fund,” he said.

Fifth regulation is the Significant Crude Oil and Gas Discovery Regulations, 2023 that would ensure optimum exploitation of petroleum covered by Petroleum Prospecting Licenses, granted under the Act, by the retention of areas of significant crude oil discovery and significant gas discovery by a licensee for specified time in accordance with section 78 of the Act.

Sixth is the Gas Flaring, Venting and Methane Emission (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations, 2023 which seeks to preserve and protect the environment especially by reducing environmental and social impact associated with gas flaring and venting of natural gas and fugitive methane emissions into the atmosphere;

“The 7th regulation is the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Unitization Regulations, 2023 which establishes rules, principles, and procedures for the implementation of unitisation of oil and gas from a petroleum reservoir that extends beyond the boundaries of a licence or lease area into an area to which another licence or lease relates,” he said.

It can be recalled that the first five regulations are the Petroleum Licensing Round Regulations 2022, the Petroleum Royalty Regulations 2022, Domestic Gas Delivery Obligations Regulations 2022, Conversion and Renewal (Licences and Lease) and Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022.

He reiterated that the commission remains dedicated to developing and issuing that will create an enabling environment for growth and more investments in the Nigerian upstream oil and gas sector.

Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) commended the NUPRC for its efficiency in overseeing activities of the industry while urging other agencies to emulate them.

He added that NEITI is yet to go through all the regulations however it was sure that the commission put the regulations together effectively and efficiently.

Making reference to the NEITI report, he said since the discovery of oil in Nigeria there was no law regulating the industry however this was pointed out and the relevant authorities took it up.

“We were frustrated over the years that we produce but do not know how much exactly because our metering and infrastructure were based on estimates,” he said.

He said Nigeria lost as much as 619.7 million barrels of crude oil valued at N16.25 trillion to oil theft or was not accounted for, adding that this is data gotten from only eight companies willing to volunteer data.

Orji said no nation can survive this kind of arrangement adding that the country also relies on borrowing to fund key national infrastructure and other necessities.

He added that although laws and regulations have always existed but It’s implementation has been difficult, however NEITI will collaborate with the commission and other key stakeholders to ensure that these regulations yield visible impact.