News Oil & Gas

State of emergency imminent in oil, gas industry –NUPRC

By Adewale Sanyaolu

If the position of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), is anything to go by, then the Federal Government may soon declare a state of emergency in the oil and gas industry.

Commission’s Chief Executive (CCE) and Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, stated this at the 2022 Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria(NAEC) Strategic Conference with the theme, “Energy Transition: Shaping the Future of Nigeria’s Energy Industry, An Appraisal of PIA, Evolving Benefits and Challenges” held in Lagos, yesterday.

The CCE who was represented by the Head, National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), Mr. Abel Nsa, maintained that the imperative is on Nigeria to declare some sort of emergency for the oil and gas industry.

Aside energy transition, he said other issues bedeviling the industry, included; oil theft, security, ageing and decaying infrastructure, amongst others.

 All these according to him, contribute to high production costs, which must be minimized, adding that the Commission, in line with the spirit of the PIA, will champion urgent access to the industry for all serious-minded players so that unexplored reserves can be tapped into to derive value for investors as well as for Nigeria.

He listed the roadmap for tackling the security challenges in the industry to include; Identification/implementing areas of collaboration between the government and operators and ensuring that operators realize their full production potential, liaison with the top echelon of Nigerian Security Forces for a robust security framework that ensures Government Security Forces (GSF) provide pipeline and asset security.  

Others are; promote the implementation of Nodal surveillance technologies on the main trunk lines at each manifold for real-time loss detection that will enable swift and more proactive responses, enforce installation of tamper detection technologies as part of designs for pipeline and related oil and gas production facilities for approval of the Commission.  

Ensure that operators implement approved security protocols in areas within their control and promptly identify/ remove illegal connections and conduct remedial works in record time, public enlightenment campaign to educate citizens on the dangers associated with crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, in collaboration with relevant agencies such as the National Orientation Agency.

On the performance of oil fields, Komolafe said about 17 out of the 30  marginal fields awarded since inception are producing.

A breakdown of the allocation of the fields to indigenous operators according to him is as follows: two (2) fields awarded in 1999, twenty-four (24) in 2003/2004, one (1) each in 2006 and 2007, and two (2) in 2010. Ten (10) years after, in 2020, fifty-seven (57) fields were put up for bidding. 

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