The two committees on the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB), in the Senate and House of Representatives would by next week Tuesday, July 13, conclude harmonisation of differences in the just-passed bill.
The agreed version of the draft would be sent to president Muhammadu Buhari, before end of next week for consideration and assent.
This confirmation was made yesterday by the chairman, Senate Committee on upstream, Senator Bassey Akpan, during a panel discussion at the ongoing Nigeria oil and gas conference in Abuja.
However, major oil company chief executives at the panel discussion expressed common views that the outcome would determine their next line of considerations.
Akpan said that a lot of work and robust engagement with industry players went into the bill and fair considerations were offered to all stakeholders and in particular the oil-bearing communities with the establishment of host community fund, to address decades of neglect.
Throwing more light on the fund, he said, though the actual percentage accruable to the fund is yet to be agreed by both committees, it will still go a long way to give the inhabitants a sense of belonging and end incessant blocking of producing assets and shutting down oil companies’ offices.
He said what the PIB has done is to compel oil companies to contribute either the 3 per cent or 5 per cent of their Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), to the fund.
Bassey clarified that the PIB if harmonised and assented to, the contribution would involve their CAPEX from last year.
He further said, with the fund in place, all previous Memorandum of Understanding(MoU), Corporate Social Responsibilities would be collapsed to allow the fund run seamlessly.
On the concerns of International Oil Companies(IOCs) in the area of Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Act, he said the recommended tax and royalties would eventually provide better deal for the majors.
In his remark, managing director, the Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC), Osagie Okunbor, applauded the passage of the Bill and commenced the National Assembly for robust engagement through the period of consideration.
Okunbor said the absence of the Bill has caused serious set back for the industry.
He lamented the industry has been significantly challenged by insecurity which has led to consistent breach of the Trans Niger Pipeline(TNP).
According to him, reconciliation factor reveals that 50 per cent of crude oil passing through the asset is lost and only 44 per cent could only be accounted for.
The managing director and chief executive officer, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Mike Sangster, said, the engagement between NASS and operators was useful to speed up passage of the Bill.
Sangster said, there is need to stimulate investment in the industry as Nigeria’s oil reserve would take up to 50 years to deplete.
He complained about cost of production, adding that Nigeria is the most expensive country to operate, as well as insecurity adding that oil majors spend much in providing security