NUPRC to reactivate dormant oil wells to boost production

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission(NUPRC) has disclosed plans to reactivate shut-in wells as part of initiatives to increase oil and gas production in the country.

Commission Chief Executive(CCE), NUPRC, Mr.Gbenga Komolafe announced this at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria(NAEC) Annual International Stategic Conference 2023 with the theme ‘‘ Nigeria’s Energy Transition: Enhancing Investment Opportunities and Addressing Challenges in the Oil and Gas Sector held in Lagos at the weekend.

Komolafe who was represented by Abel Nsa, Head of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), a department NUPRC, Mr.Abel Nsa, said other initiatives adopted by the Commission to increase oil and gas production include; frontier basins exploration, streamlined approval stages for field development plans, well intervention programmes among others.

‘‘Over the next few months, we are positive that we shall record a marked increase in our national oil and gas production volumes. Quick-win strategies such as our aggressive drive to reactivate shut-in and declining wells will boost production prior to the onset of more long-term initiatives like operations from the new Marginal Field awardees.

Also, the Commission is working alongside security operatives to bring a halt to the menace of crude oil theft, which has over the years contributed to a huge loss of production,’’.

The CCE added that the agency has began the implementation of the Drill or Drop Provision with a comprehensive review of assets which have been undeveloped by operators.

Such assets, he said, will be placed in a basket and then offered to willing and qualified investors with the capacity to explore, develop and produce the block(s)/field(s)in a timely, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly manner.

He stated that the ongoing mini bid round for seven (7) Deep Offshore Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) will boost the nation’s reserves as well as bring about anticipated benefits to the nation and other stakeholders.

On reduction in unit cost per barrel and revenue, explained that the Commission is committed to ensuring a significant reduction in the cost of doing business in the upstream petroleum industry. ‘‘Following an in-depth comparative analysis between the Unit Operating Cost (UOC) in Nigeria and those obtainable in other climes, we have commenced the development of cost studies and benchmarks to ensure an improvement in the cost efficiency of our upstream petroleum operations, in accordance with Section 8 of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

The NUPRC has also began a review of all Crude Handling Agreements (CHA) with a view to entrenching openness and competitiveness, thereby reducing the cost of production while increasing government revenue from the sector

It is noteworthy that in the year 2022, using the strategies listed above, the Commission outperformed its revenue collection target by 18.3 per cent,’’.

Enhancement of Transparency in the Sector

Komolafe maintained that the Commission has stepped up efforts towards transparency in the sector, stressing that transparency in hydrocarbon accounting is essential in ensuring maximum value derivation by both the Government and stakeholders.

According to him, transparency is essential to ensuring security of investments made by our financial partners.

‘‘We have prioritized measurement accuracy across the sector and have made it a mandatory requirement by all operators. Leveraging the provisions of the PIA, the Commission has developed a regulatory framework to arrest all incidences of metering inefficiencies and inaccuracies.

Additionally, the Commission has introduced the Advance Cargo Declaration regime in upstream petroleum operations to curtail export of stolen crude oil by ensuring that crude oil and gas cargoes exported from Nigeria will have a unique identifier that confirms all documentation as regards the exported consignment.

This implies that any cargo without the unique identifier becomes tagged as illegitimate. This, by no small measure, enhances transparency in our export operations,’’.