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PIA: FG considers first set of regulations for oil industry

 

The Federal Government yesterday began stakeholders’ consultation on draft regulations for the petroleum industry with a call on the operators to develop innovative ways to exploit and explore hydrocarbon resources in the country in the face of dwindling investments from international oil companies.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva who made the call at the opening of a two-day stakeholders’ consultation on draft regulations for the industry organized by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), said the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) gives the country the opportunity to transform the sector.

Chief Sylva noted that “the enactment of the PIA is expected to open up opportunities in the oil and gas sector of the economy. However, the challenge posed by the huge divestments in the hydrocarbon explorations by oil majors in the country in the past as a result of the global energy transition calls for more innovative ways in the exploitation and exploration of fossil fuel in the country.

“If we must continue to be relevant at the global stage, we must in designing any regulation put in focus how we can balance the energy base load for Nigeria so that we will not be left behind in the energy transition train while still harnessing our rich natural hydrocarbon reserves”.

Speaking earlier, NUPRC Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe noted that it was important that regulations governing the industry were put in place in line with the provisions of the PIA.

He therefore added that the forum was expected to discuss and finalise the draft Regulations in line with Section 216 of the PIA 2021.

“We are conscious of prioritising regulations to meet the timelines in the PIA. As such, this first phase of the stakeholder’s engagement will capture burning issues on implementation of host community fund in line with Section 235 of the PIA, also finalising the 2020 bid round through issuance of PPL (Petroleum Prospecting License) in line with Section 94 (2) of the PIA and a host of others”.

He expressed optimism that all grey areas would receive adequate clarification with a view to giving meaning to the intent of the PIA for user-friendly implementation and attractive investments.

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