The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industries have both agreed to collaborate to ensure the smooth implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
While Gbenga Komolafe, chief executive officer, NUPRC, at his maiden meeting with top OPTS members on Wednesday in Lagos asked for their support for effective implementation of PIA, oil producers, on the other hand, demanded understanding of the agency in the implementation of key timelines in the Act.
The NUPRC chief said the agency was established following the signing of the PIA by President Muhammadu Buhari on Aug.16 and was aimed at optimising the sector’s contribution to national development.
“The implementation of the PIA is very germain to the president and this current administration and he has given us a period of six to 12 months to begin to deliver some of the key deliverables.
“It is against this backdrop that I have decided to host this meeting in Lagos to reinforce my acknowledgment of your association and to solicit your collaboration as industry stakeholders,” Komolafe said.
He noted that the meeting was coming at a critical time when the clamour from the global community was focused on energy transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.
According to him, this has resulted in funding challenges for exploration activities being faced by the companies.
He said the meeting was to familiarise the commission with the OPTS members and listen to the challenges hindering optimisation of key areas in the upstream sector.
“Permit me also to say that this is the first in the series of engagements with you as our vision is to build a 21st century regulator that will be fair, just and be a critical business enabler in the upstream petroleum sector.
“It is in this wise that we urge you all to join hands with us in building confidence in the industry for robust investment,” Komolafe said.
Responding, Kennedy while congratulating Komolafe on his appointment, assured him of the support and cooperation of the OPTS in achieving the mandate of the commission.
Kennedy said the establishment of the commission forms a major milestone in the reforms being made in Nigeria’s petroleum sector, especially the passage of the PIA.
He, however, noted that the OPTS would need collaboration with the commission regarding some of the key timelines in the implementation of the PIA.
Kennedy said the areas included incorporation of development trusts for host communities, installation of flare meters as well as gas flare and monetisation plan.
He said the challenges faced by the companies were high operating cost, security, lengthy contract cycle, multiple levies and taxes, among others.
OPTS is comprised of 29 companies who are the major players in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Present at the meeting were Rick Kennedy, Chairman, OPTS and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Osagie Okunbor, Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Mike Sangster, Managing Director, TotalEnergies Nigeria.
Others were Richard Laing, Managing Director, ExxonMobil Nigeria Ltd. and Roberto Daniele, Managing Director, ENI Companies in Nigeria.
Komolafe noted that the OPTS was a critical stakeholder and partner in the development and operations of upstream assets in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Culled from Business Standards Nigeria