The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has begun consultation with stakeholders prior to finalising seven more petroleum draft regulations, in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021).
Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission’s Chief Executive, said this at the 4th Phase of its Consultation Forum with Stakeholders on regulations development, as mandated by Section 216 (4)(g) of the PIA, on Thursday in Abuja.
The regulations include Draft Upstream Commercial Operations Regulations, Upstream Petroleum Code of Conduct and Compliance
Regulations as well as Upstream Petroleum Development Contract Regulations.
Others are: Upstream Revocation of Licences and Lease Regulations, Petroleum Assignment of Interest Regulations, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum (Administrative Harmonisation) Regulations and Amendment to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022.
Komolafe, represented by Dr Kelechi Ofoegbu, Executive Commissioner, Economic Regulation and Strategic Planning, NUPRC, said the regulations were significant in line with recent happenings in the industry and that it formed part of the framework of key regulatory tools for PIA implementation.
“This phase of public hearings on the making of regulations for the upstream is divided into two segments.
“The first segment will run from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13, while the second segment will start from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10,” he said.
He said the Draft Upstream Commercial Operations Regulations 2023 proposed to establish commercial operations framework on the procedure and process for evaluation and approval of Field Development Plans and annual work programme and budget approvals.
“Upstream Petroleum Development Contract Administration Regulations prescribed the framework for the regulatory administration of petroleum development contracts joint development Agreements and Production sharing agreements (Service Agreements) relating to upstream petroleum operations.
“Upstream Revocation of Licences and Lease Regulations propose to set out the framework for implementing the Revocation Provisions of the Act and for dealing with post revocation issues in a systematic manner.
“Draft Petroleum Assignment of Interest Regulations 2023 propose 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,” Komolafe explained.
He also listed the relevance of the draft regulations, which the second segment would consider.
Komolafe described the Draft Upstream Petroleum Code of Conduct and Compliance Regulations 2023 as a novel regulation aimed at ensuring commitment by licensees, lessee and permit holders to maintain high ethical standard in the conduct of upstream petroleum operations.
“The Draft Nigerian Upstream Petroleum (Administrative Harmonisation) Regulations 2023 seeks to provide regulatory clarity on the implementation of the dual regulatory regime in the upstream occasioned by the preservation of licences and leases.
“Draft Amendment to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022 seeks to introduce certain amendments to the existing regulation on the implementation of the host community regime.
“This will further ease the administrative process and provide regulatory clarity to the challenges that the implementation of the regime has thrown up in the last one year since the initial regulation was established,” he said.
He reiterated that the process of formulating the above regulations had been a rigorous and strenuous exercise.
He added that they were products of critical thinking and the evaluation and process was incomplete until the stakeholders’ critical inputs were obtained, discussed, and incorporated.
Recall that PIA 2021 empowers the Commission to make regulations which will give meaning and intent to the spirit of the PIA.
Consequently, Komolafe said in fulfillment of this mandate, the commission swung into action with the drafting of regulations of which 12 regulations have been successfully gazetted into law and published to date between June 2022 and July 2023.
According to the CCE, the gazetting of these regulations demonstrated the Commission’s commitment towards providing a business enabling environment in the Nigerian Upstream Oil and Gas industry space.
Earlier, in a remark, Mr Kingston Chikwendu, Head, Compliance and Enforcement, NUPRC, said the PIA had seen accelerated implementation on the side of the upstream sector and part of the process was anchored on developing framework for regulations.
“We have been able to issue 12 regulations out of 26 priority regulations identified by the Presidential Implementation Committee of the PIA.
“We are here to consider more regulations which will be forwarded to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for approval,” he said.
The event was attended by the NUPRC executive commissioners, officials from Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce, Independent Petroleum Producers Association and Indigenous Operators among others.