The Federal Government, on Monday, unveiled seven additional draft regulations to improve operational and regulatory efficiency in the upstream arm of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
It unveiled the draft regulations through the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and also engaged stakeholders in Abuja at the fourth phase of consultations to obtain their inputs in finalising the laws.
The Chief Executive Officer, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, said the stakeholders consultation was in line with section 216 (1) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, which requires the commission to consult with stakeholders prior to finalising regulations or amendments to regulations.
Komolafe, who was represented by Executive Commissioner, Economic Regulation and Planning, Kelechi Ofoegbu, said one of the objectives of the PIA was to foster a business environment conducive for petroleum operations.
He said the best way to actualise this objective was by establishing a framework for the economic regulation of commercial operations in upstream oil and gas ventures.
“This can be seen in NUPRC’s efforts to ensure that regulations and key policies necessitated by the PIA are developed and gazetted timely so that the industry operators can align their operations with the PIA provisions as quickly as possible,” he stated.
He recalled that between June 2022 and July 2023 the commission successfully produced 12 regulations which had been gazetted into law.
The NUPRC boss further revealed that the five draft regulations which were presented for discussion during the first and second phases of consultations with stakeholders had been concluded and presented to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for vetting, legislative standardisation, and approval.
“I am happy to inform you that these regulations have been finalised and ready for gazetting,” he stated.
He outlined the new draft regulations to include Draft Upstream Commercial Operations Regulations, which proposes to establish the framework on the procedure and process for evaluation and approval of field development plans and annual work programme and budget approvals.
He said the Draft Upstream Petroleum Code of Conduct and Compliance Regulations, prescribed the framework for the regulatory administration of petroleum development contracts, joint development agreements, Production Sharing Agreements, Service Agreements relating to upstream petroleum operations.
For the Draft Upstream Petroleum Development Contract Regulations Administration, Komolafe said it proposes to set out the framework for implementing the revocation provisions of the Act and for dealing with post revocation issues in a systematic manner.
He said the Draft Upstream Revocation of Licences and Lease Regulations proposes to elevate the provisions of the existing guidelines on divestment of interest to a regulation and by so doing, improving the rules to reflect current realities.
Others are the Draft Petroleum Assignment of Interest Regulations; Draft Nigerian Upstream Petroleum (Administrative Harmonisation) Regulations; and Draft Amendment to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022.