The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulation Commission (NUPRC) has signed seven new regulations into law in attainment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021) goals and reformation of the upstream petroleum sector.
The Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, at the signing ceremony said the regulations had been successfully concluded and issued by the Commission.
The new regulations are the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Measurement Regulations, 2023; Production Curtailment and Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation Regulations 2023 and Frontier Basins Exploration Fund Administration Regulations, 2023.
Others are the Nigeria Upstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations 2023; Significant Crude Oil and Gas Discovery Regulations, 2023; Gas Flaring, Venting and Methane Emission (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations, 2023 and Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Unitisation Regulations, 2023.
He said the seven regulations were part of the 13 draft regulations that were presented for discussion during the first, second and third phase of its consultations with stakeholders for inputs between 2022 and 2023.
“The draft regulations were subsequently forwarded to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for vetting, legislative standardisation, and approval,” he said.
Recall that the PIA empowers the Commission to make regulations which will give meaning and intent to the Act while the process of development of these regulations is followed strictly by its prescriptions.
Komolafe recalled that the Commission, in fulfilment of this mandate, swung into action with drafting of regulations of which five regulations had already been gazetted and published to date.
He listed the five regulations which were gazetted into law between June and October, 2022 as Petroleum Licensing Round Regulations 2022, Petroleum Royalty Regulations 2022 and Domestic Gas Delivery Obligations Regulations 2022.
Others are Conversion and Renewal (Licences and Lease) and Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022.
He said the gazetting of these regulations demonstrated the Commission’s commitment toward providing a business enabling environment in the Nigerian Upstream Oil and Gas industry space.
He explained that the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Measurement Regulations, 2023 would close the metering gap in upstream petroleum operations and encourage accelerated hydrocarbon measurement metering devices roll out.
He said the Production Curtailment and Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation Regulations, 2023 would provide rules for utilisation of the produced petroleum in relation to export and domestic crude oil supply obligation pursuant to sections 8(c) and 109 of the Act.
According to him, the Frontier Basins Exploration Fund Administration Regulations will provide rules for the exercise of the Commission’s responsibilities with respect to frontier basins in Nigeria pursuant to section 9 of the Act and the administration of the Frontier Exploration Fund.
Komolafe further said the Nigeria Upstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations 2023 sought to ensure that decommissioning and abandonment activities were conducted in accordance with good international petroleum industry practice.
He added that the Significant Crude Oil and Gas Discovery Regulations, 2023 would ensure optimum exploitation of petroleum covered by Petroleum Prospecting Licenses, granted under the Act.
“The Gas Flaring, Venting and Methane Emission (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations, 2023 seeks to reduce environmental and social impact associated with gas flaring and venting of natural gas and fugitive methane emissions into the atmosphere.
“The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Unitisation Regulations, 2023 establishes rules, principles, and procedures for the implementation of unitisation of oil and gas from a petroleum reservoir that extends beyond the boundaries of a licence or lease area into an area to which another licence or lease relates,’’ he said.
He said all the 12 finalised regulations and the others to be soon finalised would serve as the key regulatory tool that would be deployed by the Commission in the discharge of its statutory functions under the PIA regime.
Also speaking, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), who witnessed the signing ceremony reaffirmed its partnership with the NUPRC.
“NEITI has found the Commission as an emerging agency of courage and vision that is ready and willing to collaborate to push the boundaries of transparency and accountability in the industry.
“The NEITI reports disclosed that since 1950, 1957 that oil was found in Nigeria, there was no law regulating the industry, except regulations, directives, memos, orders and authority.
“But, none was anchored on law. We made that disclosure, and the relevant authorities took it up, articulated the petroleum industry bill, which eventually, today, we are celebrating one of the impacts, being creation of regulatory institution.
Orji said NEITI report in 2009 to 2020 revealed that Nigeria lost 619.7 million barrels of crude oil either stolen or not accounted for which amounted to 46.16 billion dollars.
“There is no nation that I am aware of that can survive with this kind of arrangement, and our country is going a borrowing, looking for money to fund key national infrastructure for roads, water, electricity and education.
“NEITI will work with allies in the civil society organisation, media, member countries which are 57 of them, including all the G8 countries, to build national and international affiliation and collaboration with the NUPRC to ensure that all these efforts yield visible impact,” he said.