By Bassey Udo
To reduce the cost of delivering development projects in the country’s oil and gas industry, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is to develop a regulatory framework to guide the process.
The Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, disclosed this at the briefing to mark the first anniversary of the establishment of the Commission in Abuja.
The framework, he said, would be through effective participation and regulation of concept, design and equipment selection; development of guidelines for facilities development to ensure that options for utilizing “infrastructure hubs” were fully utilized to reduce capital expenditure and project delivery times.
Komolafe said the Commission plans to review and draft a new gas flare regulations in addition to the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021(PIA 2021), while updating the Technology Adaptation Guidelines and Technology Plan with inputs from the industry.
The development of barging and trucking system/portal as part of the framework, he said, has already reached User Acceptance Test Phase, while the Commission has commenced the development of draft guidelines for Fluid Sampling and Characterisation in Oil and gas field operations in the country.
In the area of Health, Safety, Environment and Community matters, Komolafe said the Commission was working on on-boarding of all identified Host communities, incorporation of Trusts and operation; Signing off and operation of the Green House Gas Emission Monitoring Guideline.
They will also cover Gazetting and operation of the Upstream Petroleum Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations, the Upstream Petroleum Environmental Regulations, and the Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulations as well as the State-wide sensitization workshop for host communities on PIA 2021.
He said as a commitment to the National Data Repository, the Commission was planning to conduct quality checks on all data deposited in the NDR with a view to identifying data integrity and gaps for immediate closure.
Also, the Commission would commence the deployment of a robust tested and trusted Data Management Solution with the capability of handling the diverse data types being generated in the Upstream Oil and Gas activities; develop a data transaction handling platform for the submission and processing of information between the NDR and all stakeholders.
Besides, the Commission plans to expand NPMS and COLT platforms towards assisting in curtailing crude oil theft and monitoring of oil and gas production activities; commencement of synchronisation of NDR platform at of NUPRC-NOR Disaster Recovery Site, and benchmark NDR operations for efficiency in line with its current mandate post-PIA.
Komolafe who described the Commission’s achievements in the last one year as fundamental milestones in its mandate, said his administration focused on laying a solid foundation for the Commission’s regulatory functions.
Apart from drafting the Environmental Remediation Fund Regulation and the Upstream Environmental Regulation and Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulation, for stakeholder’s review in line with the PIA (2021), he said the Commission also successfully launched the Host Communities Regulations to guide the implementation and operations of the Host Communities Development Trust (HCDT), as enshrined in the PIA.
The Commission, he said was putting in place modalities to ensure the smooth take-off of the various Trusts in a timely manner.
On development and production, he said the Commission declared the nation’s Oil and Condensate reserves stand at 37.046 million barrels per day, or an increase of about 0.37 percent, compared to 2020 figures.
With the industry Life index at 60 years, Komolafe said the country’s gas reserves: stood at about 208.62 trillion cubic feet, an increase of 1.01 percent, compared to 2020 figures.
Other achievements include almost completing the automation of upstream work processes, while it said it was planning to improve the efficiency of its work processes to make it operational before the end of year 2022.
While officially celebrating the achievement of first oil in Ikike oil field in September 2022, the NUPRC boss said it was expected to deliver peak production of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of 2022.
“The Commission deployed and commissioned Aiteo 120,000 barrels per day barge mounted crude oil processing Facility to minimise crude oil theft and vandalism on the NCTL; deployed and commissioned Tenoil 10,000 bpd early production facility (EPF) to increase crude oil daily production by 10,000 bpd.
“The Halkin 5000 bpd EPF at Atala OML-46 was regularized and commissioned, while an integrated industry-wide study to ascertain shut-in wells that can be reactivated in the short, medium, and long-term were the primary aim is to boost production and guide investment planning,” he said.
In addition, the study to optimise recovery factor via identification of EOR/IOR candidate wells and recommend potentials to boost National production
The Commission granted 274 export permits for about 480,863,863 barrels of crude oil/condensate/EGTL between Q4 2021 and Q3 2022, while 47 Petroleum Prospecting Licences were awarded to winners of marginal fields during the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round.