Lagos — The oil sector regulator has officially declared the era of marginal fields and discretional oil block allocation in Nigeria is over.
The Chief Executive, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, made this known at the 2022 Strategic International Annual Conference organized by the National Association of Energy Correspondents, NAEC, in Lagos.
Appraising the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, represented by Dr. Abel Nsa, maintained that the legislation signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 16, 2021, “has put an end to the era of the marginal field.”
He said, “no marginal fields shall be declared under this era because the PIA provisions have foreclosed this as well as any discretionary allocation of oil blocks.”
“Accordingly, the minister shall now award PPL on undeveloped fields following an open, fair, transparent, competitive, and non-discriminatory bidding process in line with Sections 73 and 74 of the Act,” he said.
Going down the memory lanes, He said; “30 oil blocks have, so far, been awarded through the marginal oil fields program. Of these, 2 blocks in 1999; 24 were awarded in 2004, two in 2010, and one before this year. As of today, 17 of these oil blocks are currently producing while 13 are not. The PIA has adequately addressed this, and Petroleum Protecting Licenses (PPLs) have been awarded to firms based on merit.”
He acknowledged that the challenges of seamless production in the form of rampant crude theft and sabotage of critical infrastructure are still with us and it has become one of the major issues we are addressing as a commission and government.
He said the commission had developed some key initiatives aimed at reducing the oil theft menace to the barest minimum in the short run, and eventual elimination in the long run.
He stated that there is a Road map for tackling the security challenges in the industry and the commission is collaborating with the security agencies, for a robust security framework that ensures Government Security Forces (GSF) provide pipeline and asset security.
He added that efforts are in place to promote the implementation of Nodal surveillance technologies on the main trunk lines at each manifold for real-time loss detection that will enable swift and more proactive responses as well as enforce installation of tamper detection technologies as part of designs for pipeline and related oil and gas production facilities for approval of the Commission.
He said the commission was equally using public enlightenment campaign to educate citizens on the dangers associated with crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, in collaboration with relevant agencies such as the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
“We are planning seven additional regulations in line with provisions in the PIA to guarantee a return on every dollar invested in Nigeria over any other jurisdictions.”
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