NUPRC, stakeholders fine-tune strategies for the oil and gas sector


Oritsegbubemi Omatseyin

Lagos — To drive and grow sustainable investments in Nigeria’s upstream for energy security and national economic development and in the process return value to all stakeholders, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, on Thursday met in Lagos with members of the Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, and Independent Petroleum Producers of Group, IPPG, to fine-tune strategies for the year 2024 and beyond.

The NUPRC Chief Executive, Engr Gbenga Komolafe who described the joint collaborative meeting as a defining moment in the relationship of the Commission with the two foremost associations of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, said the Commission values collaboration and partnerships toward the promotion of stability, growth and sustainability of the industry in line with Government’s aspirations.

He said, “As we drive our collective response to the changing global energy dynamics, the Commission recognises the value of regulatory stewardship anchored on proactive agenda setting, mutual engagements, and participatory oversight to engender positive change for the benefit of industry participants – majors and independents alike.”

At the parley, Komolafe revealed that the Commission will be engaging certified metering experts to conduct a technical integrity audit of the metering facilities in the Nigerian upstream sector to ensure that metering facilities function at best practices and industry allowable limit of error.

He announced that the Commission has equally put in place a robust framework to guide issues of divestment and implementation of Decommissioning and Abandonment and Host Community Development Trust. “In the weeks ahead, the Commission will be conducting a tour of upstream facilities in Nigeria.”

While reiterating the Commission’s commitment to pursuing a proactive agenda toward deepening trust and entrenching regulatory clarity in 2024 and beyond, Engr. Komolafe re-echoed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, words at the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York, that Nigeria has never been more ready for business than it is now. This resounding statement underscores the commitment of national leadership to foster an environment conducive to business and investments.

He reminded participants of the resolve of the present administration to improve the business environment and the political ecosystem to attract investments and deepen participation in the key sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Komolafe said: “In furtherance of Mr. President’s vision, and in recognition of the imperative for a robust and viable oil and gas sector, the Commission is unwavering in its determination to expand opportunities for existing players and facilitate the entrance of new entities. Riding on the charge of Mr. President, we believe that the time is indeed ripe for Nigeria to position itself as a global hub for oil and gas industrial activities.”

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Komolafe again reiterated that the NUPRC was consistently strategy-driven in its regulatory activities and direction.

“In May 2023, following a comprehensive assessment of industry performance and the identification of critical levers required to unlock value, the Commission unveiled the NUPRC Corporate and Regulatory Strategy (2023-2033). The 10-year strategic outlook outlines the broad plans that will guide the Commission’s activities to achieve its mandate as enshrined in the PIA for the Nigerian Upstream Oil and Gas.

“We have maintained this strategic focus because we recognise the enormous pressure currently being faced by the industry occasioned by climate concerns, net zero emissions targets, and the attendant defunding of oil and gas projects. The dynamics in the global energy arena necessitate that Nigeria, a country long dependent on the exploitation of oil and gas as the mainstay of its economy, must re-examine its policy to secure its energy future while meeting global climate goals and commitments to the comity of nations.

“Against the foregoing, the Commission has set forth a clear agenda for the upstream petroleum sector, consistent with the PIA and bordering on aspirations of Government. Our objective is to cultivate an environment that fosters efficiency and ensures that every industry participant, including members of OPTS and IPPG, thrives in a virile, functional, and profitable sector. Our mantra is: “When you succeed; Nigeria succeeds”.

While appreciating the collaboration of the industry players in the growth and development of the sector, Engr. Komolafe noted that together, all the stakeholders can sustain and grow investments in the country’s upstream sector for energy security and national economic development for all.

To achieve this purpose, he said the Commission will continually refine its policy and regulatory philosophy with inputs from critical stakeholders such as the OPTS and IPPG.

“Today, I am pleased to showcase the NUPRC Regulatory Action Plan for 2024 and the Near term, which was issued on 1st January 2024 to set a direction for the industry activities. The Plan attracted significant publicity both in the local and international media. The Regulatory Action Plan is not just a document; it is crafted as a signpost to the industry and stakeholders, the three (3) year focus areas of the Commission to address prevailing industry challenges and harness the opportunities that lie ahead” Komolafe said.

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He said it is a roadmap that outlines the Commission’s vision for upstream oil and gas to enable shared prosperity. “It is our firm belief that this parley would allow us to x-ray the Action Plan, expand the underlining premises, and secure vital insights from you that will enrich its implementation.

“We acknowledge that some of the key actions of the Plan may require clarifications and further engagements, particularly as it relates to its implications for your business models, operational architecture, and business plans. Please rest assured that the Commission has considered the possible implications and has designed the Plan with the flexibility to accommodate industry dynamics. Our goal is to enhance and facilitate a business environment that is resilient, adaptable, and aligned with global best practices. As members of OPTS and IPPG, you will continue to play pivotal roles in shaping the industry response to the evolving energy dynamics for the prosperity of our nation.

“The implementation of the Regulatory Action Plan will be a collaborative effort for our mutual benefit. To facilitate open communication, we will be establishing dedicated platforms for continuous engagement on the RAP. These platforms will provide all stakeholders, OPTS and IPPG inclusive, with opportunities to share insights, seek clarifications, and actively participate in shaping the landscape for our collective good.”

Engr. Komolafe used the occasion to announce that, in line with provisions of Section 73 of the PIA, the Commission will conclude the 2022/2023 Mini Bid Round as well as conduct a new Bid Round of 12 Blocks located in the continental shelf and deep offshore. He called on investors to participate in the Bid Round process expected to commence soon.



This article was originally posted at sweetcrudereports.com

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