Business - Business & Economy - News - Oil & Gas - September 20, 2022

Upstream industry regulations: NUPRC gazettes host community trust law; finalizing five others

Consultations ongoing on seven other regulations, pending approval by stakeholders

By Bassey Udo

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development
Regulations has been published in the Federal Government Gazette, the upstream petroleum industry regulator has disclosed.

Five other draft regulations identified and presented by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) for review during the first phase of consultations with stakeholders held in April this year are also being finalised for gazetting.

The five draft regulations include those on Royalty; Domestic Gas Delivery Obligations; Nigeria Conversion & Renewal (Licence and Lease); Petroleum Licensing Round, and Upstream Petroleum Fees and Rents.

The Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, who disclosed this in Abuja said seven other regulations were among those being reviewed by stakeholders in the second phase of consultations process, which opened on Monday.

The seven draft regulations include those for Acreage Management (Drilling & Production); Upstream Petroleum Environmental; Upstream Petroleum Environmental Remediation Fund; Upstream Petroleum Safety; Unitization; Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning & Abandonment, and Frontier Exploration Fund.

Speaking at the opening of the second phase of consultations on the remaining draft regulations, Komolafe reiterated the regulatory Agency’s commitment to ensure that regulations and key policies necessitated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) were developed and gazetted timely to ensure industry operators aligned their operations with the provisions of the industry law as quickly as possible.

The implication of gazetting the regulations is to validate them as legal instruments that could be applied in the management of the different aspects of operations in the upstream industry.

The Commission CEO said the
inputs from the stakeholders engagements during the first phase of consultations were incorporated, where necessary, into the draft regulations forwarded to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for vetting, legislative standardization, and
approval.

“Our commitment to create an enabling environment for growth and investments in the Upstream Oil & Gas industry in Nigeria has steered our focus towards working with all stakeholders on regulations development as mandated by Section 216 of the PIA,” he said.

In furtherance of the commitment, and in compliance with Section 216(4)(g) of the PIA 2021, Komolafe said the Commission was holding the second phase consultations with stakeholders to finalize the last set of seven regulations.

Reiterating how rigorous and strenuous the consultation exercise process on formulating the regulations have been, the Commission CEO assured that the gazetted laws would, at the end, be products of critical thinking and evaluation, and hard work by the
Commission’s Regulation development Team and the Presidential Implementation Committee on PIA.

He expressed confidence that robust intellectual discussions by participants during the three-day meetings on the regulations would give the industry laws that would be of international best standard.

He said regulation development would remain a continuous process, as the Commission would continue to embark on programmes and policies, to create an enabling environment for growth and more investments as well as drive support to the upstream oil and gas sector.

Present at the consultative meeting were NUPRC Executive commissioners, representatives of the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce, the Independent Petroleum Producers Association, Chief Executive Officers of the international oil companies (IOCs) as well as the
Chief Executive Officers of indigenous operators in the upstream petroleum industry.

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