Senate passes bill establishing National Rice Development Council

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NURPC) has revealed that the 2020 Marginal Fields Tender, which concluded last year, has so far raised around N174.944 billion, owners of 30 fields having partially paid and two fields blocked by legal cases. .

The new commission further said that 20 companies that won the bids had partially paid, among those that won all 57 oilfields.

In May 2021, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which transformed into the NURPC with the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), concluded the tender for the 2020 Marginal Oil Fields , the first successful exercise since 2003, when 24 assets were put on offer.

The process that culminated in the presentation of letters to the winners in Abuja by the industry regulator, began in June 2020, with 57 marginal fields spanning land, swamp and offshore leased by the federal government.

Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks usually developed by local companies and have remained undeveloped for a period of more than 10 years.

Some of the companies that emerged winners at the time included: Matrix Energy, AA Rano, Andova Plc, Duport Midstream, Genesis Technical, Twin Summit, Bono Energy, Deep Offshore Integrated, Oodua Oil, MRS and Petrogas.

A few others who made it through the hurdle and fully met all the conditions were: North Oils and Gas, Pierport, Metropole, Pioneer Global, Shepherd Hill, Akata, NIPCO, Aida, YY Connect, Accord Oil, Pathway Oil, Tempo Oil, Virgin Forest among others.

The process was hailed as a big win for the country’s local oil and gas companies, which made a strong showing at the ceremony, with 100% of the exercise beneficiaries being indigenous entities.

Nigeria last conducted tenders on marginal fields in 2003, with 16 of the fields contributing just 2% to national oil and gas reserves.

The commission also said its revenue target for 2022 remained at N3.38 trillion, well exceeding its 2021 revenue projection of N3 trillion and that of 2020 which was set at N1.746 trillion.

In a presentation it made to the Senate Committee on Petroleum, Upstream, led by Mr. Bassey Akpan, during a monitoring meeting at its headquarters in Abuja, the agency headed by Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, explained that it had reached 1.99 trillion in revenue in 2020, beating its forecast of 1.746 billion naira by around 13.98%.

But in 2021, with a revenue target of 3.066 billion naira, the commission pointed out that it had generated 2.711 billion naira, achieving 88.45% of its revenue forecast which usually goes into government coffers. federal.

He said that despite the reduced tax provision in the PIA, the organization was on track to meet its desired revenue target for 2022.

Furthermore, NURPC lamented that with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production quota of 1.683 million bpd in January and 1.701 million barrels per day in February, it is not able to pump only 1.396 million barrels per day currently, resulting in a loss. of at least 115,926 million barrels per day on a daily basis, or about $300 million per month.

“We’re losing about 115,926 barrels a day, which literally translates to about $300 million and that’s a huge loss for a nation that really needs those funds,” he said.

Mr. Komolafe attributed the underperformance primarily to oil theft, sabotage, vandalism as well as technical issues, including asset-related breakages.

“But the highest percentage is due to the theft of crude oil and as a commission we know the impact of this and recognizing our regulatory role we have been able to contact other operators to find out what we can do to this subject.

“We are trying to set up an industry-wide initiative to improve the situation and we plan to implement it in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and other stakeholders,” he said. -he adds.

However, he said that despite the charges, he would continue to promote an enabling environment for investment in the upstream oil sector, establish, monitor and regulate as well as enforce environmental measures and optimize the government’s levies on the country’s hydrocarbon resources.

In addition, the commission has undertaken to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the leases and licenses granted, to apply all laws relating to upstream operations as well as to maintain a database on the petroleum industry.

Mr. Komolafe, responding to questions raised by senators on environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, said that there are provisions in the PIA that provide for remedial measures.

He said the commission recognizes that the work was huge and had set up an internal committee to liaise with the senate steering committee to work on regulating the industry.

The agency’s chief executive said that if fully implemented, the PIA would address environmental issues, adding that while some pollution is attributable to normal oil operations, others could be attributed to sabotage by other parties.

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