Petroleum Operations: NUPRC reviews regulations for clarity, licensees’ commitment

Mr Gbenga Komolafe, CCE, NUPRC
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By Emmanuella Anokam

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is reviewing novel regulations aimed at ensuring regulatory clarity and compliance by licensees and permit holders, to maintain ethical standards in the upstream petroleum operations.

The NUPRC said the regulations when reviewed would ensure strict commitment and provide clarity on the implementation of the dual regulatory regime in the upstream occasioned by the preservation of licensees and leases.

Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive (CCE), NUPRC, made this known on Wednesday in Abuja at the 2nd segment of the 4th Phase of its Consultation Forum with Stakeholders on regulations development.

Komolafe said the forum was mandated by Section 216 (4) (g) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), as three regulations were considered for review.

He listed the three regulations to include Draft Upstream Petroleum Code of Conduct and Compliance Regulations, Draft Upstream Petroleum (Administrative Harmonisation) Regulations and Draft Amendment to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2023.

Komolafe was represented by Mr Kingston Chikwendu, Head, Compliance and Enforcement, NUPRC.

He noted that the Draft Upstream Petroleum Code of Conduct and Compliance Regulations and Draft Upstream Petroleum Administrative Harmonisation Regulations were two new regulations out of the three being reviewed.

The CCE said that the two were newly introduced to further guide players in the industry and consider issues bothering on compliance, administration and enforcement.

He explained that the regulations prescribed acceptable conduct for the industry where strict rules were followed because of the type of risks involved in the business of global petroleum operations.

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“So we want to set up a framework to enable both the regulator and the regulated entity to carry out operations based on certain rules and principles globally accepted.

“The need for the Upstream Petroleum Administrative Harmonisation Regulations is actually derived from the PIA which tries to revolutionise the industry to create a dual regime.

“This is because we still have the old Petroleum Act which is still on till all licenses granted under it expire.

“Because of that, we need to do harmonisation regulation to enable the regulator to know which aspect of the Petroleum Act that will be applied generally and the aspect of the PIA to be applied particularly to preserve rights of licensees and leases.

“Today’s session is part of the continuation of an ongoing series and so far we have held four phases of consultations since the first one which started in August 2022; within this period the commission has issued 14 regulations.

“The commission has identified between 26 to 30 regulations considered as key regulations required for effective implementation of the PIA,” he said.

The CCE said it had made significant progress and considered the engagement important because of the buy-in of the players in the industry and members of the public.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the first segment of the 4th Phase Consultation Forum with Stakeholders on regulations development held from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13.

The segment consulted on four regulations out of the seven listed which included Draft Upstream Commercial Operations Regulations, Upstream Petroleum Development Contract Regulations, Upstream Revocation of Licences and Lease Regulations, Petroleum Assignment of Interest Regulations 2023.

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He expressed satisfaction on the feedback received during the consultation and assured that work was ongoing to finalise the regulations and proceed with further processes involved in getting them issued in the country.

The forum was attended by the officials of NUPRC, Independent Petroleum Producers Association and Indigenous Operators among others.

NAN reports that the consideration and input of stakeholders’ on the regulations will be forwarded to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for approval. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Emmanuel Afonne

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