The Senate has urged the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC )to restore the Atala Marginal Oil field (OML 46) to its former owners.
The Chairman of Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Sen. Ayo Akinyelure, said this at an investigative hearing on Thursday in Abuja.
He said although President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that the oil field be reallocated to the original owners, the commission has refused to obey the order.
The chairman also expressed disappointment over the non appearance of both NUPRC and the beneficiary, Halkin Oil at the hearing.
“We have invited them severally and again, they have not been able to come before Nigerians and prove that the allocation of Atala Oil to Halkin is justified before the law and before humans.
“The position of this particular committee in the last sitting was that, we want the NUPRC to provide evidence before this committee today, to inform our decision on whether to support the position of NUPRC or not.
“The Nigerian Senate has asked the NUPRC to provide a written evidence that the President has reversed his own order.
“It has not been heard anywhere allover the world that, when the President gives a presidential order, a civil servant would go ahead and reverse it without a written permission from the President.
“So, we are not convinced by the report of the NUPRC and we make bold to say the NUPRC has been misinformed to allocate Atala Oil to a private limited liability company, when Mr. President had given a presidential Order that they should give considerations to former owners of 10 Oil fields,” he said.
He added:”Today we are here, but we can’t see NUPRC, we can’t even see the MD of Halkin Oil to show us the President’s Order that reversed his earlier order.
“This committee therefore, resolved as follows: that the revocation and allocation of Atala Oil is hereby declared void; that Atala Oil should be returned to its original owners, in line with the Presidential Order; that the NUPRC should carry out the Presidential Order immediately.
The Senate on Wednesday approved the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework(MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) for the country.
This followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Finance at plenary.
As part the approval, the Senate requested that 10 out of the 63 Government Own Enterprises(GOEs) be exited from the budget and placed on cost of collections to serve as a test case for others in the future.
The GOEs included Nigeria Communication Commission(NCC,) Cooperate Affairs Commission(CAC) Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA),Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)and Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission(NUPRC) Others were Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service(NCS)Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control(NAFDAC).
The upper legislative chamber also approved daily crude oil production of 1.69million barrel per day(mbpd) 1.83mbpd, and 1.83mbpd for the 2023, 2024 and 2025.( www.
The Accountability in Extractive Sector (AES) Cluster, an NGO has tasked oil producing communities to work toward effective takeoff of host community development trust fund as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).Mr Auwal Musa, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) said this at a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the review and progress of implementing PIA on Tuesday in Asaba.Musa said that dialogue was within the framework of Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project implemented by Palladium Group Holdings with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).He said that the aim was to engage host communities that can drive the implementation process for the establishment of host community development trust fund.Musa said that the dialogue was to inform and review the progress in the implementation of the PIA.He said it was also to harvest agenda to advance engagements with Settlors (Oil companies) and relevant state actors towards expediting the establishment of their respective Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) Funds to the benefit of their communities He said the community engagement was aimed at stepping down knowledge with guidance from relevant state actors on the issue of regulations, template and procedural guidelines for the communities.The CISLAC boss said that the dialogue was equally to identify opportunities to facilitate the establishment of community platforms for timely reviews of relevant frameworks and processes.Speaking, Munachi Ugochukwu, Programme Officer, CISLAC’s Tax Justice, Environment and Conservation of Nature, said the programme was being implemented in oil producing states of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Imo, Rivers and Abuja.“The programme is being delivered through an anchor cluster model with about 10 organisations from the participating states and Abuja.“It is about driving transparency and accountability in the extractive sector to ensure that the sector resources trickled down both to the oil host communities and Nigerians.”The aim is to engage host communities that can drive the implementation process for the establishment of host community development trust fund.”About five host communities and three representatives each were invited.A traditional ruler, a woman, and a youth leader are part of the persons drawn for the engagement process,” he said.Ugochukwu listed the communities in Delta as, Owa Aladima Ndokwa nation, Ekakpamre and Orogun.He said the objective was to step down the content regulation, for the host communities to be familiar with it as well as the procedural and template guidelines for the establishment of the host communities’ trust fund.In his remarks, the Delta Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Chris Anyabuine, expressed the readiness of the agency to sustain the awareness creation on the PIA and host community regulations across the state.The meeting was attended by representatives of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Corporate Affairs Commission, Delta Ministry of Environment, traditional councils, leaders of oil-host communities, and the media.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions is investigating the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) for allegedly re-allocating Atala Marginal Oil Field (OML 46) in Bayelsa to another firm.
The NUPRC came under fire in the senate over its alleged revocation and illegal re-allocation of the oil field owned by Bayelsa Government to Halkin Exploration and Production Company Limited (Halkin E&P).
Chairman of the committee, Sen. Ayo Akinyelure made this known at the weekend in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that trouble over the oil field started on April 6, 2020 when the then regulatory agency, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), now NUPRC, revoked the operating licence of the Atala JV Partners on the Marginal Oil Field.
This was over alleged inability to bring the Atala Field to production.
But the trio of BOCL , Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited and Century Exploration and Production Limited ( CEPL), kicked against the revocation.
This was on the ground that as original operators of the oil field, explorations and productions had been made and royalties paid into account of the Federal Government of Nigeria and that as at the time, the field was purportedly revoked, the JV-partners had an outstanding 20, 700 barrels of crude on the site.
Specifically, Akinyelure said that, ” NUPRC which is now the new regulatory agency that you represent here is not expected to take side on the disputed oil field.
” Since DPR is inherited by NUPRC, the new agency, must furnish this committee with written directive from President Buhari , upon which award of the Atala Oil Field was made to Halkin E and P and not previous operators as clearly stated in the presidential directive quashing the revocation.
” Perhaps, in running away from the fact and getting away with the oil field award, Halkin stopped appearing before this committee after previous appearances by resorting to litigation in the court of law” .
” What this Committee wants from NUPRC, being the inheritor of DPR , is written presidential directive on the Oil Field award to Halkin E&P and nothing more”.
The various parties are expected again at the senate panel this week.
The Minister of State Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva, has said that the desire to surmount the challenges bedeviling the oil and gas sector led to the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Sylva spoke at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum, in New York, with the theme: “Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector: Reforms, Results and the Road Ahead”.
Sylva, in a statement on Thursday by his Senior Adviser (Media and Communications), Horatius Egua said Federal Government’s desire to inject life into the sector characterised by fiscal and operational challenges led to making proactive reforms a priority.
The minister said the enactment of the PIA on Aug. 16, 2021 was a “watershed moment for the nation, the industry and all stakeholders.
He said it signalled the beginning of a more conducive environment for investment, output, industrial and national growth, while also addressing legitimate grievances of resource host-communities most impacted by resource extraction operations.
He said the PIA 2021, at full implementation, would create massive investment opportunities, improve transparency, attract investors, and reposition the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry for sustainable growth.
The minister said the PIA 2021 had established a legal, governance, regulatory, and fiscal framework for the petroleum industry, host community development, and associated matters.
“It provides fiscal certainty, improves regulations and incentives for investment, including up to ten-year tax vacations, while guaranteeing better take for both government and private investors, thereby balancing rewards with risk.
“The PIA has set the foundation for a sustainable growth in the sector with the establishment of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC),” he said.
“This administration remains committed to ensure full implementation of these conceived reforms to foster efficiency and attract investments and development of supporting infrastructure along the oil and gas value chain as embedded in our policy aspirations for the sector.
“The government has taken the necessary steps to sustainably implement and operationalize the PIA 2021 within the timelines stipulated in the Act,” he said.
To this end, he said the government had inaugurated the steering committee, which he chaired, responsible for PIA implementation immediately after the PIA was signed into law.
Reflecting on the theme of the conference “Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector: Reforms, Results and the Road Ahead”, Sylva said the theme resonated the aspirations and commitment of President Buhari’s government to reform the sector.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami,SAN, has said that Nigeria Government is making concerted efforts in addressing oil theft, including spending resources on pipeline surveillance security.
Malami said this on Thursday in New York at the Nigeria International Partnership Forum with the theme ‘Scaling up International Economic Partnerships for Nigeria in a Post COVID – 19 World’’.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum was organised by the Nigerian Government and the African Business Roundtable on the margins of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Malami, who spoke on the topic ‘International Action to Stop Crude Oil Theft: Proposed Measures and the Road Ahead’ said the Nigerian Government was spending resources on Surveillance Security to address oil theft.
“Also, through the payments to Civilian Security Companies under unique Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements,’’ he said.
Malami said that the administration of President Buhari is seriously cracking down on Crude Oil Theft with a view to lifting Investors’ confidence; mitigate attacks on terminals and the country’s territorial waters.
He said while prosecution of suspected criminals used to be a challenge, the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offenses (SPOMO) Act, 2019 provides legal backing for prosecution and punishment of offenders.
“The office of Attorney-General of the Federation remains committed to effective prosecution of all Crude Oil Theft and related cases, including High-Profile ones.
“On a similar note, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is equally currently prosecuting hundreds of cases bordering on Oil Theft.
All these show a serious resolve by the Nigerian Government to punish offenders.
” “As recent as 13th August 2022, the NNPC Ltd, launched an Application to check Oil Theft, called Crude Theft Monitoring Application.
’ According to him, the NUPRC is also determined to tackle the menace through Technology with the use of Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) Meters to check flow and pressure rates and to generally improve measuring capabilities.
He said an ongoing multi-agency collaboration involving the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NUPRC, NPMDA, Nigerian Ports Authority, Ports Health Authority, Nigerian Immigration Service, Shipment Inspection Units, – all jointly collaborating to put an end to the menace of Oil theft in Nigeria.
The minister said that it was upon the realisation of the scale of corruption that the government has continuously embarked on direct action and creative means of eradicating crimes in Nigeria.
He said that all hands being put on deck to ensure the elimination of the crimes by providing security and intelligence Officers with sophisticated systems and means to tackle the menace.
The minister said that the Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria had taken operational and strategic measures to deal with the challenge through the signing into Law of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 (PIA) after several years of Legislative processing and cycles of review.
According to him, the PIA which seeks to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry was one of the most audacious attempts to overhaul the Petroleum sector in Nigeria.
“New specialised entities such as the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPR) were created.
“They were created with clear mandates and statutory powers to handle specific responsibilities in their respective spheres of regulatory influence, were created under the PIA, among other innovations aimed at improving the Nigerian Oil and Gas landscape.
’’ He added that the Joint Task Force (JTF), comprising Security Officers from all the relevant Security Forces were committed to the eradication of illegal Artisanal Refineries in the Niger-Delta region as criminals involved in illegal refineries were responsible for about 25 per cent of stolen crude.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulations Commission (NUPRC) says it is at the final stage of gazetting and setting up fund under the Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations.
The NUPRC said the regulation would be gazetted in October, adding that it was working towards meeting the timelines provided by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2022. Dr Joseph Tolorunse, Commission Head of Compliance and Enforcement made this known on Wednesday in Abuja at the closing of its stakeholders’ engagement on regulations development as mandated by Section 216 of the PIA.
“The fund under the Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations is to be set up within 18 months of the effective date of the PIA which will be expired by Feb. 2023. “In the next one month the regulation will be gazetted, we are almost at the final stage of the regulation,’’ Tolorunse said.
The seven draft regulations being considered by the stakeholders’ engagement include Acreage Management (Drilling and Production) Regulations and Upstream Petroleum Environmental Regulations.
Others are Upstream Petroleum Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulations; Unitisation Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations and Frontier Exploration Fund Regulations.
According to him, these regulations are broke out into three syndicate sections which witnessed robust inputs and constructive criticism.
He said the NUPRC said before finalising these regulations, stakeholders’ engagement as provided by the PIA was needed to be done and that had been fulfilled.
“We are not taking it lightly, all the comments and inputs received, as well as resolution reached will be incorporated into the regulations.
“We are still going to look into those regulations we were unable to have convergence and when necessary we will call the stakeholders to discuss reasons why they should be taken on board or not.
“In some instance the regulations provided for penalty and how contributions would be made in the development of the industry generally, example:- the remediation fund regulations which enables contributions by companies to be channeled towards remediating the environment.
“Definitely it will enhance the image of the company and the country at large in the area where they operate,’’ he said.
He commended the active participation of the Host Communities, adding that their useful contributions would be considered seriously and also be reflected in the regulations.
The three-day forum has in attendance officials from the oil and gas operators, Chevron, IPPG, Indigenous and International Oil Companies and other stakeholders in the industry.
The NUPRC says efforts are ongoing to prevent further gas leakage on the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company’s (NPDC) Well 6 in Sangama community, Rivers.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), said the incident which was reportedly observed on Sept. 3, at about 13:30 hours, was reported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Exploration and Production Limited (NNPC E&P Ltd.) on Sept. 9. Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive (CCE) in a statement on Wednesday, said efforts were being made alongside other relevant agencies to deal with the situation.
According to the NUPRC CCE, arrangements are ongoing for repair of the damage.
Komolafe said that the commission will ensure that the development did not affect the health and social lives of the people of the area or negatively impact the environment.
“NUPRC has been notified of a gas leak incident on the NPDC Well 6, in Sangama community, Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers.
“A Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on Sept. 11, by a team from NUPRC, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Rivers State Ministry of Environment as well as Community representatives with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in attendance.
“During the JIV, the team observed gas leak from one of the valves on the well head.
“A closer look revealed that the Anode valve on the well head had been tampered with.
It was adjudged by the regulators to have been caused by third party interference.
“However, the community did not agree with the regulators and as a result would not sign the joint investigation report in spite of the technical explanation by the team,’’ he said.
This, according to Komolafe prompted the team to reconvene on Sept.15, and after an extensive discussion, all stakeholders eventually signed the incident report.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulations Commission (NUPRC) says it will ensure that regulations and key policies necessitated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 are developed and gazetted.
The commission said this would enable the industry operators to align their operations with the PIA 2021 provisions as quickly as possible.
Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC, said this on Monday in Abuja at the opening of second phase of its consultation with stakeholders on regulations development as mandated by Section 216 of the PIA.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the seven draft regulations to be considered include Acreage Management (Drilling and Production) Regulations and Upstream Petroleum Environmental Regulations.
Others are Upstream Petroleum Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Safety Regulations; Unitisation Regulations; Upstream Petroleum Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations and Frontier Exploration Fund Regulations.
Komolafe, represented by Capt. John Tomla, Executive Commissioner, Health, Safety, Environment and Community, NUPRC, said that the consultation was in furtherance of the initial regulations reviewed in April.
He recalled that six draft regulations were presented for discussion in April during the first phase of its consultations with stakeholders which included Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations and Royalty Regulations.
Other regulations reviewed were Domestic Gas Delivery Obligation Regulations; Nigeria Conversion and Renewal (Licence and Lease) Regulations; Petroleum Licensing Round Regulations and Upstream Petroleum Fees and Rents Regulations.
He said that stakeholders’ inputs from the engagement were incorporated where necessary, in the draft regulations which were forwarded to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for vetting, legislative standardisation and approval.
According to him, one of the regulations, the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Host Community Development Trust regulations, has been gazetted while the remaining five have been finalised and ready for gazette.
“Our commitment to create an enabling environment for growth and investments in the Upstream Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria has steered our focus towards working with all stakeholders,’’ he said.
He reiterated that the process of formulating the above regulations had been rigorous because they were products of critical evaluation and hard work by the commission’s regulation development team and the Presidential Implementation Committee on PIA.
He called for robust and intellectual discussion on the regulations to come out with robust regulations with best international best standard.
Dr Joseph Tolorunse, Commission Head of Compliance and Enforcement, said that the forum served as an avenue to listen to stakeholders’ views on the regulations and secure their buy-in which would determine PIA’s implementation.
Tolorunse said for theory and practice of administrative rule making had poignantly shown that if regulation entities were part of regulations making, compliance would be achieved by more than 100 per cent.
“With this procedure of rulemaking, it is believed that consensus will be built, trust between the regulator and the regulated entities will improve and ultimately the regulations will be easier to implement and sustained.
The three-day forum has in attendance officials from the oil and gas operators, World Bank, Indigenous and International Oil Companies and other stakeholders in the industry.
FG recovered N2.6trn revenue from oil coys – NEITI FG recovered N2.6trn revenue from oil coys – NEITI Recovery By Emmanuella Anokam Abuja, Sept. 14, 2023 The Federal Government has recovered a total of N2.6 Trillion revenue from oil firms following the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) National Assembly intervention.
NEITI said a total of 2.6 billion dollars remained outstanding in the hands of companies as at March 2022. Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at its Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and media engagement on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) validation.
The EITI validation, which is conducted every three years is a quality assurance mechanism to ascertain level of compliance and progress in implementing its standards among member countries, including Nigeria.
Orji said NEITI’s financial report led to the recovery of the debt.
“By the time we release 2021 report, any company owing Nigeria we have no choice than to invite EFCC to take over and handle it as an economic crime,” he said.
He said the recovery was as a result of NEITI’s appearance at the National Assembly to defend its position based on data it provided.
Recently, NEITI released 2019 reports which included list of 77 oil and gas companies that owed the government up to 6.8 billion dollars.
The National Assembly had summoned the organisation to come and defend it by showing how it arrived at that.
According to Orji, as soon as it released the 2020 report to prove that, the companies that wanted their names protected were rushing to the relevant agencies to pay up.
He revealed that from 77 companies, they number decreased to 51 companies and the amount came down to 3.6 billion dollars.
“Which shows that from the point we released that information a lot of money came in.
None of them disputed our report rather they were giving excuses why they did not pay.
“The money include all taxes and VAT being collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and all royalties being collected by the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).
“NEITI collects nothing, all we are asking is for us to be recognised and offered thank you,” he said.
He said that through NEITI, there had been increased demand, easy access and availability of verified information and data in the public domain.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration should take credit on doing well on extractives sector reforms.
“The content of our up to date reports is very incisive and is shaping public debates,” the executive secretary said.