FG plans six new oil, gas regulations amid elusive deregulation
• Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire move to deepen hydrocarbon ties
AMID the seeming inability of the Federal Government to fully deregulate the downstream segment of the petroleum industry, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), yesterday, revealed that six new regulations were being planned to ensure clarity, improve processes and ease of doing business in the sector.
Consistent with provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Authority Chief Executive (ACE), Farouk Ahmed, who made the disclosure during a meeting with members of the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) in Abuja, said the guidelines are Gas Pricing, Environmental Management Plan, Environmental Remediation Fund, Decommissioning and Abandonment, Gas Infrastructure Fund and Natural Gas Pipeline Tariff.
According to him, a Working Team, chaired by Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage & Retailing Infrastructure (DSSRI), Ogbugo Ukoha, would review the draft regulations, engage and consult stakeholders for smooth implementation.
This is coming at a time when the government is still retaining price control that is making the country to spend N4 trillion on Premium Motor Spirit (popularly known as petrol) subsidy in 2022 alone.
Ahmed explained: “One of our key concerns is boosting local refining. Dangote and BUA refineries are coming on board. However, we want to see more companies investing in refineries so we can stop importation of refined petroleum products, save our foreign earnings, create jobs and add value to the economy.”
He commended the gradual growth of indigenous players in local exploration and production of petroleum products. Earlier, IPPG Chairman, Abdulrazaq Isa, his group was an association of 25 indigenous Exploration and Production (E&P) companies with the vision to promote the continued development of the Nigerian petroleum industry for the benefit of industry stakeholders and the nation. He said timely communication with industry players was important at this time that the sector is going through transition.
The IPPG boss called on NMDPRA to enact regulations on tariffs, domestic gas and clear licence issuance modalities, among others.
RELATEDLY, moves are on by Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire to deepen partnerships in hydrocarbon development.
Receiving an Ivoirien delegation from the National Bureau of Technical Studies and Development (BNEDTD) to foster bi-lateral relations between both nations in Abuja, Ahmed disclosed that the strategic goals of NMDPRA were to attract investment to the industry, expand oil and gas infrastructure and make Nigeria a regional hub, while impacting the global market.
The ACE encouraged the Francophone country to take advantage of investment opportunities in Nigeria’s energy industry to promote economic growth and sustainable development, stating: “Some of these investment opportunities include supply of LNG, propane and butane to Cote d’Ivoire and other ECOWAS countries.”
Head of delegation and Ivoirien Ambassador/Director of Economic Intelligence and Monitoring Evaluation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Koue Bi Alphonse, said their visit was to understudy the operational system in Nigeria’s midstream and downstream sector to expand and enhance areas of cooperation between the two West African nations.