Stakeholders in the nation’s oil and gas industry yesterday called on the federal government to ensure the proper implementation of policies that will encourage investment in the sector. Also, the full implementation of the Seven Big Wins and the quick passage of the petroleum industry bill (PIB) have been described as key factors that could facilitate investment in the sector. According to the group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, if the PIB is passed, the sector stands to attract a potential $10 billion held up in what he called ‘uncertainty’. Baru made this disclosure at the 2018 edition of the annual Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum, in Abuja yesterday.
“As you aware that the first part of the bill – the Petroleum Industry Governance bill – was passed by the House recently. When the other sections of the bill are finally passed, it will unlock over $10billion of investment held up due to uncertainty,” Baru said. Speaking on the need to enhance corporate governance, the NNPC chief executive, who was represented by chief operating officer in charge of the Upstream Directorate of the NNPC, Bello Rabiu, noted that transparency had been a major source of worry to investors which had denied the country a huge amount of investment.
He stated that NNPC had done a lot of work to improve the contracting processes and turn around the cycle of contract documents in the corporation. “NNPC has been in the forefront of entrenching transparency in the industry, driving the internalising of its core values within the corporation,” he stated. Delivering a paper on the theme, “The Nigerian Oil Industry in a World of Changing Energy Supply: Are We Prepared?”, he said the corporation had identified Seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP) scheduled to deliver about 3.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day on an accelerated basis to bridge a projected medium term supply gap by 2020.
The 7CGDP, he said, include development of the 4.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF) Assa North/Ohaji South field; development of the 6.4 TCF Unitised Gas fields (Samabri-Biseni, Akri-Oguta, UbieOshi and Afuo-Ogbainbri) and the development of 7TCF NPDC’s OML 26, 30 &42. On his part, the lead presenter, Dr Rabiu Suleiman said the ‘7 Big Wins,’ if well implemented, would enable a stabilised oil and gas landscape with improved transparency and efficiency and stable business environment. Suleiman, who is the senior technical adviser to the minister of state, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated that some of the ongoing works in some key areas would help to transform the sector. He identified such to include the review and gazetting of policies and regulations – National Oil Policy, National Gas Policy, Fiscal Reform Policy and passing the Petroleum Industry Reform Bill. Others are improving the business environment and driving investments in upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.
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