Business

PIB passage, biggest enabler we need, say oil majors

FILE: Floor of the senate



The international oil companies operating in Nigeria have urged the National Assembly not to renege on its resolve to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill before the end of this month.

The chief executives of the IOCs said the passage of the bill would create the biggest enabling environment needed by operators in the country’s oil and gas sector.

The managing directors of Shell, Total and ExxonMobil, among others, spoke at the CEO Roundtable session at the ongoing 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja.

At the opening session of the NIPS on Monday, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, had promised that the National Assembly would pass the Petroleum Industry Bill before the end of this month.

The non-passage of the PIB had dragged on for about 20 years, despite stakeholders’ views that the bill would positively transform the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

Commenting on moves by the government to grow oil production to four million barrels per day and increase reserves to 40 billion barrels, the IOCs said without the infrastructure that would come through the passage of the PIB, it would be difficult to achieve the target.

The Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria/Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Osagie Okunbor, categorised infrastructure into hard and soft forms, adding that soft infrastructure would entail contents of the PIB.

He said, “I would like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. The soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important.

“And that is the one that actually drives most of what we see in the hard infrastructural side. Soft infrastructure essentially for me refers to the enabling environment.

“And nothing pleased me as much as seeing both the Senate president and the Speaker of the House here yesterday (Monday) to give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.”

Okunbor added, “That’s probably the big one in terms of enabling environment, it provides the kind of stability we need. But then we also need all the other issues that we have discussed severally, in terms of sanctity of contracts, stable policies and collaboration.”

Also speaking on the need for the bill to be passed, the MD/CEO, Total Nigeria Exploration and Production, Michael Sangster, said the resolution by the National Assembly was encouraging, urging the lawmakers to pass the PIB.

He said, “Obviously, I’m very encouraged to hear what’s being said by the Senate president, the Speaker of the House and the GMD of NNPC on the PIB.

“It is a good, strong, win-win, forward-looking PIB which encourages new investments in the industry and again will help to develop local content and bring it up to a higher level.”

On his part, the MD, ExxonMobil Nigeria, Richard Laing, said it was wonderful to see the progress made on the PIB, stressing that the bill would make Nigeria attractive to investments.

He, however, noted that there was a need for competitiveness in the oil sector and stated that issues around security and sanctity of contract should be fixed to make Nigeria suitable for investments.

Other stakeholders who spoke with one of our correspondents in separate telephone interviews expressed cautious optimism about the promise by the National Assembly to pass the bill this month.

Experts, marketers express cautious optimism

The National Operations Coordinator of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Michael Osatuyi, said, “If the Senate president said that the National Assembly will pass it this month, we should believe them. They have been committed for some time, right from December 2020. It is a good signal for the industry as it will change the dynamics of the sector.

“I believe we would experience a new horizon and new investments if it is passed, but before expressing high optimism, we should first be exposed to the contents of the bill to ascertain the benefits.”

An energy economist, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju said, “If it is eventually passed, it will be a major achievement as it has been in the works for 20 years. It will reposition the petroleum industry for effectiveness, efficiency, deliver value to the Nigerian people, and unlock opportunities, especially in the downstream sector as there are multiple avenues for investment.

“But the National Assembly has to keep to its word this time. Hopefully, the other components of the reform, the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill, Host Community and Industry Administration Bills, are dealt with properly.”

The Director, Corporate and Regulatory Relations at AOS Orwell, Charlotte Essiett, said the announcement was a good development as the industry needed a policy framework to thrive.

She said, “Major projects can now have feasible start dates as fiscals will be sorted with the right policy frameworks in place. Production sharing contracts or joint venture partners with the NNPC can plan appropriately.”

“However, there is a possibility for the bill not to contain all our concerns as an industry and as such there might be need for amendments or annexing of the bill.”

A Port Harcourt-based oil and gas analyst, Bala Zakka, said the delay in passing the bill had made some investors to leave the country for better investment destinations.

“Most people don’t even talk about the PIB any longer as interest has waned. The NASS can go ahead with passing it, but we cannot benefit much from the bill any longer,” he added.

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

Disclaimer: The Post PIB passage, biggest enabler we need, say oil majors was first Published by Our Reporterson punchng.com.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Notice: Undefined variable: responsive_view_480 in /home/newscent/public_html/wp-content/plugins/advanced-floating-content-lite/public/class-advanced-floating-content-public.php on line 136

Notice: Undefined variable: responsive_view_320 in /home/newscent/public_html/wp-content/plugins/advanced-floating-content-lite/public/class-advanced-floating-content-public.php on line 136

Notice: Undefined variable: content in /home/newscent/public_html/wp-content/plugins/advanced-floating-content-lite/public/class-advanced-floating-content-public.php on line 137

Adblock Detected

We Continue Sharing News From All Over the World by displaying Ads