04 Mar 2022

NURPC highlights implications of global change from fossil fuels

The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) says the goal of the global change to move completely away from fossil fuels has its implications.

Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive, NUPRC, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the ongoing fifth Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES 2022) with the theme “Revitalising the Industry: Future Fuels and Energy Transition.”

Komolafe, represented by his Senior Technical Adviser and Assistant Director, NUPRC, Mr Abel Nsa spoke on  “Fundamental Shifts in NUPRC in a Time of Transition.”

He said that all nations were being jointly held responsible for environmental impact of fossil fuels, while oil producing nations that have the appropriate economic model may escape a lot of impact.

Komolafe noted that oil producing nations without the appropriate economic model, might be worst hit in spite of their endowment with abundance of fossil resources.

“Responsive nations can still make the proper shift even in the seemingly short time left,” he added.

He said the growing concern around energy transition affected all economies of the world especially those most dependent on fossil fuels for their energy needs and national revenue.

Komolafe said the targeted state of net-zero emission might be challenging to attain but a lot of effort was being put into curtailing fossil fuels and advancing cleaner alternatives by developed countries.

He said in Nigeria’s case, the quest for sustainable development had two dimensions; quest to get the best economic model for harnessing oil and gas resources and to balance the environmental demands of the comity of nations.

To this end, Komolafe said Nigeria commenced a holistic reform of the industry in the 2000s to address the first problem, along the line the second issue took centre stage.

“But gladly the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 was progressively adapted to address both issues,” he added.

According to him, Nigeria has indeed commenced the necessary shift toward sustainability.

He noted that the passage of the PIA, 2021, offered fundamental shifts in the regulatory architecture of the NUPRC.

Komolafe said the Act provided for legal, governance, administrative framework and attractive fiscal regime.

“In a clear departure from the past, the law provides clarity on areas that were hitherto uncertain or ambiguous in the regulation of upstream operations.

“Empowered by the PIA, the commission naturally tapped into its wealth of experience, expertise and institutional memory that it has garnered over the years to implement the desired change and bring about monumental shifts.

He outlined some of the strategic focus of the NUPRC toward attaining the desired change as envisaged in the PIA 2021 as Development of Regulations, Environmental Remediation Fund and Field Development Plan, among others.

“Committee on Implementation of the PIA (STEERCO) is developing draft regulations for effective implementation of the Act. In this respect also, NUPRC is in consultation with upstream stakeholders to ensure all-inclusiveness and robustness.

“Some of these regulations are being developed to address critical industry issues such as, acreage administration, decommissioning and abandonment, commingling of stacked reservoirs, oil and gas royalty administration and host communities development trust, amongst others.

“The process of stakeholder’s engagement has commenced, and the commission has requested input from various stakeholder groups which will be evaluated for adoption in the regulations. In a short while, the commission will publish.

“The PIA has vested in the commission, the power to set up an environmental remediation fund into which licensee and lessees will make financial contributions as determined by the commission toward potential degradation or damage to the environment.

“Towards meeting the government aspiration of 40 billion barrels of oil reserves, 220TSCF of gas reserves and three million bop production target, innovative ways are being employed by the commission in collaboration with industry players,” he said.

This, he said, would ensure maximum economic recovery through exploration and resources maturation, improved oil recovery, reserves maturation and production optimisation, asset stewardship and risk management.

He said with the focused implementation of these initiatives, it was confident that the NUPRC could drive the attainment of the Nation’s Reserves and Production target. (NAN)