12 November 2015, News Wires – Newly-appointed Nigerian Deputy Oil Minister Ibe Kachikwu is to amend the much-criticized and heavily delayed Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, in an effort to finally ease its passage through the country’s administrative system, according to a report.
Kachikwu, who is also head of state player Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), may remove the taxation element from the bill to speed up its much-anticipated implementation, Reuters reported.
The Harvard-educated lawyer was on Wednesday confirmed as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, deputy to President Muhammadu Buhari, who retains the top oil ministry role.
At the end of the summer Kachikwu appeared to distance the PIB from any impending implementation, saying it would be put on the backburner in favour of using existing laws to revamp the country’s staple but flagging oil sector.
“Because of the volume of extensive consultation and time required to make the bill a workable document, it is only natural to kick-start the reforms in the industry with the existing laws while waiting for the eventual passage of the proposed law,” the former overseer of compliance in Nigeria for Texaco and ExxonMobil said in August.
He also said at the time that the PIB would have to be adapted to take into account the current oil price environment.
Given a mandate to revamp the industry and build bridges with disgruntled international oil companies, Kachikwu has aimed to shore up the value chain on mega-schemes, drive down the cost of producing a barrel of oil from $27 to below $20, revive abandoned fields for immediate return and “focus on integrity projects — all the low hanging fruit”.
The proposed bill aims to reform the oil and gas sector but political issues have caused its passage into law to be held up for years.