The third batch of regulations under the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will be released by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) on Wednesday, with five inventions mostly intended to increase sector transparency.

The Upstream Petroleum Measurement Regulations, Advance Cargo Declaration Regulations, and Significant Discovery Regulations are among the new rules.

The Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation Regulation and the Gas Flaring, Venting, and Methane Emissions (Prevention of Waste and Pollutions) Legislation are additional recently implemented regulations.

Those present at the event included the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce, the Independent Petroleum Producers Association, chief executive officers of International Oil Companies (IOCs) and chief executive officers of indigenous operators.

Speaking at the event in Abuja, the NUPRC Chief Executive, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, stated that the stakeholders’ meeting was part of the commission’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for growth and investments in the upstream oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

Represented by the Executive Commissioner, Development and Production, Dr. Habib Nuhu, Komolafe said five of the new regulations have now been officially gazetted while six at an advanced stage.

In the first and second phases of the stakeholder consultations last year, 13 draft regulations were given for consideration, he pointed out.

Komolafe listed the regulations as the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations, Royalty Regulations and the Domestic Gas Delivery Obligation Regulations. Other regulations churned out by the commission, he said, were the Nigeria Conversion & Renewal (License and Lease) Regulations, Petroleum Licensing Round Regulations, Upstream Petroleum Fees and Rents Regulations as well as Upstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations.

Furthermore, he listed the Unitization Regulations, Acreage Management (Drilling & Production) Regulations, Frontier Exploration Fund Administration Regulations, Upstream Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations, Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulations and Upstream Petroleum Environmental Regulations as other regulations where stakeholders’ feedback had already been obtained.

“The inputs of the stakeholders from the engagement were incorporated, where necessary, in the draft regulations. Thereafter, the regulations were forwarded to the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for vetting, legislative standardization, and approval.

“I am pleased to inform you that five of these regulations, the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Community Development Trust regulations, Royalty Regulations, Domestic Gas Delivery Obligation Regulations, Nigeria Conversion & Renewal Regulations and Petroleum Licensing Round Regulations have been gazetted while the remaining six have been finalized and ready for gazetting,” he stressed.

He reiterated that the process of formulating the regulations had been a rigorous and strenuous exercise and were products of critical thinking and evaluation by the commission’s regulation development team and the Presidential Implementation Committee on PIA.

“Despite this, however, the process is incomplete until the stakeholders’ critical inputs are obtained, discussed, and incorporated, where necessary, in the regulations,” he said.

According to him, the commission’s efforts to support the operators in the upstream business are by no means complete or final at this point in the regulations’ formulation process.

“The Commission will continue to embark on programs and policies that will create the enabling environment for growth and more investments in the Nigerian upstream oil and gas sector,” he added.

Komolafe added that the commission has no intention to bring incremental fiscal burden on operators which will erode its commitment to business growth, maintaining that the regulations will support the sector to have visibility on production systems.

In his remarks at the event, Executive Commissioner, Economic Regulation & Strategic Planning, NUPRC, Kelechi Ofoegbu, noted that the new regulations would ensure transparent measurement of Nigeria’s hydrocarbons.

He said that it will also establish the framework required for the processes involved in modernizing hydrocarbon measurements in accordance with global best practices.

Ofoegbu claimed that thorough calibration of LACT devices, similar to what takes place with power consumption meters, will further aid in operationalizing the PIA and ensure precise measurement of Nigeria’s oil and gas.

“It will give us the capacity and the capability to monitor upstream production from the beginning to the end and ensure transparency in the loading process.

“We complain about crude theft. It is stolen, and it makes its way to the international market. But how is that possible? These regulations will help us understand the DNA of every vessel coming into our shores to load crude,” he explained.

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