By Yusuf Yunus
The Nigerian Upstream Downstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) says it will recommend for an establishment of ‘African forum of regulators’, to benchmark and standardise regulatory framework in the upstream oil and gas sector across the states of African nation.
Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive of NUPRC, said this in an interview session with journalists at the ongoing 2023 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Monday.
Komolafe reiterated that the Federal Government was committed to achieving carbon neutrality, ending energy poverty, and driving economic growth in the country.
He noted that the conversation around energy transition was gathering high momentum in the country and government was doing all it could to fine-tune its policies and regulations to ensure it meets the global carbon neutrality.
He said that the Nigerian government was firmly working toward its commitment at United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, to cut its carbon emission to net zero by 2060.
“Nigeria has outlined its energy transition plan and for us as a regulatory commission, we are in line with every plan to ensure smooth transition.
“Right now, the commission has created a department to handle its decarbonisation process.
“This is a way to ensure it gets carbon credit and follow all global best practices and benchmark,” he said.
On update on Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), Komolafe affirmed that the process was progressing well.
He said that very soon the commission would announce the names of the successful bidders.
He noted that this was coming at a time of energy crisis and transition, and on the backdrop of government’s decade of gas policy.
He said that the development seeks to tame decades of gas flaring in the oil producing region and enable the federation to generate billions of dollars in investment and signature bonuses.
He said in recognition of the funding challenges facing some of the awardees of the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round licences, the commission was also planning a production based lending engagement that would help them source needed capital to commence full field development toward hitting first oil.
He said that this was an initiative of the commission to ease challenges in the sector.
The NUPRC boss said that the engagement which had been planned to begin soon would be between the Commission, Petroleum Production Licence (PPL) Awardees, Exploration and Production (E&P) service providers and Banks.
”It is to provide platforms for strategic partnership and alliance between the awardees and the service providers for Well Re-entry and drilling services.
“The arrangement is to be offered on service fee recoverable by the service providers from production to be attached.
‘’What the commission is doing is a landmark plan to organise an E&P International Financing Road show for financiers, investment bankers, private equities, and multi-lateral institutional investors.
“The initiative is to showcase the high value quick win opportunities available to investors in the recent PPL awards, the ongoing National Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, as well as the ongoing mini-bid awards,” he added.
Komolafe said that the Commission developed a Corporate Governance Framework for upstream petroleum operations.
According to him, this is to create clarity and restore confidence in the industry , which is very important.
”Also, the framework is to enhance sustainability, environmental and corporate governance requirements and to facilitate capital attraction by investors for the optimal and efficient development of the PPLs and other assets.
He commended the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) leadership for leading a quality delegation to the 2023 OTC.
He urged them to sustain the tempo and continue the development of indigenous capabilities in the oil and gas sector.
He said that PETAN was indeed doing the nation proud by extending its capacities in other frontiers in Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference has as its theme: “Energy Transition and AfCFTA: Key Reforms for Sustainable Development of the African Oil and Gas lndustry”. (NAN)