Passage of PIB to attract needed investment in Nigeria – OPEC

Akpobor Jirue, Abuja

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has commended the National Assembly for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, stressing that the move will attract investments into the nation’s oil and gas sector.

OPEC’s Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 20th Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition, which took place in Abuja on Tuesday.

Barkindo who applauded the passage of the bill also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his support of Nigeria’s energy sector.
Speaking of the importance of the PIB, he said, “Mr. President, allow me, on behalf of OPEC, to
congratulate you on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which was just passed by both chambers of
9th National Assembly of our great country.
“This long-awaited legislation for the oil and gas sector will help guide the necessary reforms designed to strengthen institutions, solidify regulatory and fiscal frameworks and attract much-need investments in a sustainable manner.

“The 9th National Assembly has engraved itself in gold in passing the Petroleum Industry Bill.”

On the theme of his keynote address; “Global Oil Market Dynamics in a Decarbonizing World,” the OPEC scribe said the unpredictability and volatility brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has intensified discussions on climate change and energy transition.

“Countries around the world are feverishly attempting to adapt to the rapidly changing dynamics in the energy industry in an effort to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“Investors, environmental lobbyists and even some corporate boards are pressuring oil companies and
governments to pursue radical policies and initiatives,” he noted. He however assured that the cartel’s “Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) producers will remain proactive, flexible and vigilant.
“This prudent approach moving forward will enable the DoC to remain agile and responsive while avoidingunwanted market imbalance after April 2022”, he said.

Speaking on the prospect of the global oil market, he said, “The global economy has, for the most, part recovered and is expected to see growth of 5.5% this year, and we forecast world oil demand to rise by 6.0 mb/d.

“Both the economy and oil demand are expected to see accelerated growth in the second half of this year.”

He warned of a range of uncertainties that is under close monitoring, listing them to include an elevated risk of inflation due to massive financial stimulus programmes, uneven vaccine rollouts across the world, and the spread of COVID-19 Delta Variant, which is now even impacting countries with high
vaccination rates.

Barkindo also commended Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Head of Delegation for OPEC, for his leadership and active participation, which have continued to enrich the cartel’s ongoing pursuits to forge a lasting stability in the oil market.
“On the domestic front, your ongoing contributions and leadership in guiding Nigeria’s energy industry into the future are both impressive and commendable,” he said.