The Federal Government has commenced the review of the midstream and downstream petroleum regulations in order to strengthen the regulatory and governance issues that exist with the oil and gas industry to further drive investment to the sector.
The was part of the major highlight at the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) stakeholders’ consultation forum held on Monday in Abuja.
Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources at the forum said the regulations have been reviewed by major players and interest groups within the oil and gas industry and their inputs are being considered.
The review featured the twelve different downstream and midstream regulations including Petroleum Pipeline Regulations; Gas Pricing Domestic Demand and Delivery Regulations; and Natural Gas Pipeline Tariff Regulations, Petroleum (Transportation and Shipment) Regulations Assignment and Transfer of Licence and Permit Regulations.
Others are Midstream and Downstream Petroleum(Operations) Regulations; Midstream and Downstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations; Environmental Regulations for Midstream and Downstream Operations; Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund Regulations as well as the Environmental Remediation Funds Regulations.
The Petroleum Minister said that the regulations would encourage value creation and increase competitiveness amongst all the players. He added that it will also provide clarity and certainty for investors, promote and build investor confidence, increase and improve foreign and indigenous participation in these sectors.
According to him, we are at the point of engagement and interaction with a view to issuing regulations that would benefit all stakeholders.
He further noted that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) has transfers the responsibility of technically and commercially regulating both the mid- and down-stream operations in the sector on NMDRPA.
Sylva further revealed that the review was in fulfilment of the provisions of Sections 33 and 216 of the PIA 2021, offering opportunity for the Authority to consult widely with all the key players before final submission is made over the downstream and midstream regulations with specific focus on the processing, refining, transmission, distribution, supply, sale and storage of petroleum products, or any other matters deemed expedient.
He said, “This administration understands the need to have an all-encompassing, well thought-out, and unambiguous regulatory instruments that are painstakingly developed to meet the present and future aspirations of the government.
“The regulations are required to attract much needed investments and create opportunities in the sector; hence the need for stakeholders participation and engagement in developing regulations, processes and procedures.
“Prior to this event, the authority has initiated and proposed ten different regulations which span operations, pricing and environmental management, in line with its statutory mandate.
“Whilst noting that the current state of our local energy landscape is dire and is in need of ingenious solutions, we have an opportunity to ameliorate the situation through these sets of regulatory instruments,” he said.
These, he said would cumulate into enablement of businesses, growth of the industry and creation of myriads of opportunities for Nigerians.
Mr Farouk Ahmed, Authority Chief Executive, NMDPRA while commending the ninth(9th) National Assembly for the speedy passage of act, said Section 216 of the PIA mandated the authority to ‘consult with stakeholders prior to finalising amendments to regulations.
He said, “Accordingly, our priority will be to ensure these regulations are primary enablers of the Federal Government’s Decade of Gas initiative and will help catalyse investment and enhance the attractiveness of the domestic gas value chain,” the NMDPRA boss said.